This past week was a vivid reminder of how the Internet might have even been able to save some one’s life.
A young man, barely out of high school, just outside of Philadelphia, PA, took his life. My sister-in-law is very close to the family and spent many a night and day baby-sitting and raising this young man over the years. While the people that remain must puzzle through the pain and loss, I can’t help but think how little he really experienced in life to warrant making such a bold and final decision.
One amazing value about the Internet these days is that if you need help. . . you can find it. My wife and I discussed this recent tragedy — she is very upset about it — and there was the suggestion:
“It’s hard growing up. Didn’t he know that everyone hates high school at one time or another? I am sure there is a site out there like I Hate High School, or something like that. . . “
There actually is something not too far off: www.answerbag.com I found this site because of Google. There is an article which is relevant. A youth clearly looking for answers in the face of some depression and anxiousness posted a question. You can review the article yourself here.
The answers ranged from “It’s OK, hang in there” to “Listen, you should be thankful, just suck it up.” I am paraphrasing here. However, the point is that he asked and some 22 people — strangers — responded with meaningful and caring assistence.
Sometimes the internet can serve to connect you with a lending hand in the most darkest of times and yet provide the privacy needed to ask such exposing questions. Clearly this youth on answersbag.com needed some answers and regardless of the people in his/her respective life felt at ease to use an online forum.
If only the friend of our family could have known what I have known for sometime: People genuinely have the power to care and reach out regardless of distance, culture, and political boundaries. The internet re-enforces this lesson on a daily basis by providing a multitude of venues as well as visibility to these acts of kindness. So remember, when in doubt. . . you are not alone. Get some sleep, tomorrow is another day.