Facebook Friends and Suicide

A woman I knew when she was a girl, killed herself last week.  We went to Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley, BC and both graduated in 1995.  I never was especially close to her, some people I knew hung around with her.  If I went to a social event she would probably be there, but really never that close.

Upon hearing of her death on Facebook I was sad.  The public outpouring of grief that I witnessed on Facebook by people who knew her was to be expected.  Facebook is good for that sort of thing and reenforced the sadness of the situation.  What bothered me, however, is how I had treated this person on Facebook in the past.

For a while in 2012/2013 I posted a ridiculous amount of stuff to Facebook, none of it personal in the sense of status updates or photos, mainly just newspaper columns.  Each week Paul Krugman’s column would be posted.  Stuff about the ORNGE scandal in Ontario, it went onto my wall.  Margaret Wente’s plagiarism, the whole lot of reporting on that.  I am not sure what my motive was in posting all of this stuff.  I know that when others posted a plethora of stories I would just skip over them, very rarely would I actually click on a link and read an article.  Did I hope that others would do what I wouldn’t for the stories I found interesting?

Turns out very few people did, in fact one of the only people to consistently give my postings a “thumbs up” was the woman who killed herself.  For some reason I didn’t appreciate this, I wanted other people to like my posts.  Why, I can’t remember.  Whatever the reason it was unjustified.

I blocked her.

I didn’t think about her again until I witnessed the public outpouring of grief on Facebook.