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Social Media Cries For Help Fall on Deaf Ears: Here is another sad story about someone whose cries for help online went unnoticed, or noticed but unanswered. Eighteen-year-old high school student Ashley Billasano had made it very clear on her Twitter account that she was unhappy, suffering, and was about to take her own life: in the last six hours of her life Billasano tweeted 144 posts in which she described being the victim of sexual abuse including forced prostitution, past acts of self-harm and her plans to kill herself. These tweets have since been removed, but according to Fox News, her final tweets were: “I’d love to hear what you have to say but I wont be around,” and “Take two. I hope I get this right.” Apparently Billasano had around 500 Twitter followers, yet no one acknowledged her cries for help, no one stopped her, no one said anything. It’s a tragic story; and what’s worse is that Ashely Billasano isn’t the only one who has announced suicide plans on social media without anyone taking action: Simone Back, a 42-year-old British woman, announced via her Facebook status that she had just taken “all of her pills” and would be gone soon and not one of her 1,000 Facebook friends did anything; model Paul Zolezzi also posted a status update about his suicide before he killed himself; Rutgers student Tyler Clementi announced on Facebook that he was “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry,” and nobody stopped him either. And there are probably many other instances like these that didn’t make it into the news. It’s so sad that we are all connected 24/7, yet when someone is desperately calling out (or Tweeting) for help, no one pays attention or does anything to make sure that person is OK. What’s the value of a Facebook friend or Twitter follower if they don’t care if you live or die? Gawker
Ashton Hands Over His Twitter Account: If you haven’t already heard about Ashton Kutcher’s major Twitter snafu, you must live under a rock, which is apparently also where Kutcher himself resides. Last Wednesday Kutcher tweeted, “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.” Hmm, yes definitely in poor taste to fire someone for sexual abuse of a child—NOT. Kutcher claims he had only seen a headline that Penn State coach Joe Paterno was being fired, but didn’t follow up to find out exactly why. For someone who is supposedly such a social media guru and savvy entrepreneur, you would think he could take two second to check any online news site or blog to get an explanation as to why Paterno was fired. Obviously Kutcher was met with an onslaught of angry tweets. As a result of his poorly researched tweet, Kutcher announced that he will stop tweeting until he finds a way “to properly manage this feed.” Twitterverse-1, Ashton Kutcher-0. Mashable
Confessions of a Twitter Addict: Everyone always talks about social media addiction, but here’s a real story of an addict: Larry Carlat used to be the editor of Men’s Health Magazine, and he used to be married—that is until he became a Twitter addict, or a “tweetaholic” if you will, and lost his job and ruined his marriage. Carlat describes the evolution and aftermath of his serious Twitter addiction in this New York Times piece. It’s kind of insane that Twitter is what ruined this guy’s life, but the way he describes it, for him it truly was an addiction, like being an alcoholic. Another strange, sad symptom of our times. NYT
Tumblr of the Day: You know, in this economy… Sad Guys on Trading Floors
Video of the Day: Don’t mess with mustard. College Humor
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