How does Facebook Prevent Suicide?

How does Facebook Prevent Suicide?

Preventing suicide?? If this was discussed amongst a group of psychiatrists or even within a group of laymen, we would except to hear a plethora of ways and suggestions but hardly anyone would include a social networking site!


I couldn’t help but marvel at the ingenious tactic employed by the Facebook authorities to stay in the news when I saw this headline “Facebook aims to help prevent suicide”. Give me a break… How can anyone  believe it for even a split second? Although Facebook has completely taken over our lifestyle and insanely invaded our privacy by letting your early morning bed tea to the moon smiling down at night be known to everyone, I still highly doubt that anyone who is  troubled enough to harbor suicidal thoughts, will actually go and update their  FB status before committing the ultimate sin; suicide!.

It is one thing to update your status about being mugged or having an accident and it is definitely another to drop hints about your suicidal plans on a social media site. Even if we stretch our imagination and consider for a while that somebody will actually  leave messages on FB about the impending doom, I still feel cynical about the action that can be viably taken before the commitment of the actual act. We would expect that such a person who seems sane enough to share his problems through the newly launched FB feature, would not take the gross decision of committing suicide in the first place.

Leaving all the other factors behind, hopelessness is one crucial reason why people decide to end their own life. If Facebook were to be proven such a great help, with around a billion of friends on everybody’s network, why would they be so hopeless? So hopeless, that they end life? Hilarious is one word for any logic that supports this claim.


Surprising as it may sound, this new attractive claim is based on the ‘valued’ feedback from a client’s (facebooker’s) personal experience. Tomorrow, If I supposedly post a suicidal note on FB, I would expect my friends to RUSH to me… rather than being so unconcerned so as to report it to an xyz sitting miles away in a fancy office.


Real friends don’t wait for us to get to the edge, letting us turn suicidal. Whatever the nature of the problem, friends are those who not only understand our problems but are also able to sympathize with us and provide us with possible solutions.

Wake up people! We need to get real. We need to have closer connections than a virtual social media platform used solely as a too to boost oneself and fickle about the others. What’s important is to reach out and empathize each other rather than letting a hurt or sorrow get clogged in their systems, eventually consuming them. To put it straight, why wait for a flood of comments when a friend’s shoulder is right besides us?

Erum Naqvi

A full time banker and a part time blogger

  • Fatima

    I just read an article a few days back which actually said that use of FB itself is increasing depression!!

  • Systematic Menacing Joker

    I am thinking on a different note though you do make a point over here, which is indeed valid. Whatever FACEBOOK claims, keeping it aside (as I haven’t read the statement personally) but they might have helped for the reduction in number of suicides. In your discussion you have focused on the end situation where an individual is hopelessly frustrated but what about the stages before it.
    In our lives we all get really tired, frustrated and stressed. In those low time, there might be a post, say a motivational quotation, on some random wall, or a “hi mate, how are ya” from a long-unheard friend. These situation do make one smile and lift him/her up. However, in the absence of FACEBOOK, or may be ORKUT our frustration might have multiplied, which may at very least reach to the level of suicidal thoughts.
    Though FACEBOOK has its own issues, like privacy and for me even the addiction, it might have helped some as well. But again, thats just me and my random thoughts. you can disagress

  • Systematic Menacing Joker

    a not-so-wise friend of mine keeps saying, “no matter how thin you slice, there are always two sides of it”. IT’S TRUE, isn’t it? :)