Strangers on the Internet and Suicide

I don’t always know what happens to the people I meet on the internet. Some of them are pretty constant. A few of my followers have been around and commenting since the beginning of Reprobate Typewriter, and some of them come and go, disappear, and then resurface. I also have a couple of internet communities filled with friends and acquaintances. Now and then, I meet internet people in real-life. Not often, and certainly not until I’m sure they’re not serial killers, but it happens. (well, hell. I’ve internet-known some of them for nearly a decade.) And then, there’s social media.

Social media is more like the special-interest bar of the internet.

You can find people you have a lot in common with, and lots of them, but these are fleeting interactions. More the familiar faces you see walking across campus than the deep and lasting friendships. (Although when you do hit it off, it’s usually well worth the effort.)

Most of the time, you get bits and pieces. A busy coffee shop with a band you all like. Small talk. A little heavy on the politics, but of course, somebody has to be mayor of Arizona, I guess.

And sometimes, you hear parts of peoples’ lives that they would never, ever share in real life.

Maybe the things nobody hears them sharing in real life.

Every now and then, you run into the dark stuff. The stuff that makes you really concerned about someone’s safety.

I ran into one of those, yesterday. A deep, dark, Twitter thread that ended abruptly, maybe twenty minutes before I saw it. The poster was talking about suicide, and depression. A few off-the wall things, here and there. And they’d been talking about it for hours. Maybe days.

So, this is a reminder that you should get familiar with your social media platforms’ methods of getting real, medical help to people, quickly. Reporting it can be tough, but sometimes… it’s necessary.

(And as for my person, they seemed to be better today than yesterday. Let’s hope we all are.)


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