By Yvonne Sam
Social and Political Commentator
Sadly, the addiction, faced by many of us, as regards social media, is downright unnatural and can be equally inhuman. We do not need our phone to capture everything that we see; moreover, we should not want it to do such.
A situation has sneaked into our midst, the continuing presence of which, attacks the very core of our being and human nomenclature. Following the death of someone, the Rest In Peace (RIP) rank go up, many times before all the necessary family have been contacted or made aware. Take it or leave it, but placing your need to post in that moment, over the family sorrow, is grossly disrespectful.
Nevertheless, when I was somehow coming to grips, in my mind, that there was no lower abyss to which humans could sink, new ground was broken. Why would people go on Snap Chat or any other social media platform and post pictures of what appears to be a dead body? Have we become so obsessed with the moment that our humanity is totally abraded?
Yes, a well-known, young rapper’s lifeless body was displayed on social media for the world to see. In that moment the behavior of those people became tantamount to the much-hated paparazzi. The young man had a family, not to mention the fact that the remainder of us abhors the idea of opening up our social media to a dead body.
Perhaps you are seeking answers as to how such a terrible act relates to our humanity. Elementary! As a community and country we have become somewhat benumbed. Death has been transformed into a gossip point and a great show, and some are racing, at break-neck speed, to see who can post it first, and if there is footage, who can make such go quickly viral.
Sadly too many of our young people have no idea what it means to respect the dead. It is not until it is the death of someone in their family, will they understand why they should put their phones away.
This is somewhat catastrophic, as the desire to foolishly and imprudently be seen, continues to weave a web that disconnects us from reality. We do not know what is real, what is a lie, nor how to react to either the truth or the lie. There was even a situation where people were so busy looking at, and posting a dead body that they neglected to call the police.
Our phones are the tools that are sucking the life force from our being. Not only are we losing our grip on reality but also our grip on each other.
It is high time that we start realizing that the phone does not belong in every situation.
Death is not something to be recorded and posted. Instead it is a time when our community examines where we place life, our humanity and how to get back to seeing ourselves and each other as people.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is Vice-president of the Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.