Many of us are experts at giving unsolicited advice – and even better at being condescending and abusive while doing so.
Following the suicide of a young man from Bengaluru who was studying in Mumbai, voyeurs went in droves to his Facebook account to find one thing – the video that Arjun Bhardwaj made before he jumped off the 19th floor of a top hotel.
Unfortunately for them – but not really – Facebook had pulled down the video before they could reach it. Instead, what people found on his profile was a picture that he posted minutes before he killed himself - a photo of the sunset from his hotel room, and a sardonic caption that read, "View to die for", followed by the laugh-so-much-you-cry emoticon.
The citizens of Facebook had, of course, watched the video already – such is the nature of the Internet.
While many of the commenters only left a 'Rest in Peace' message, the most decent of the other kind of messages were ones that called Arjun selfish, ungrateful, and a brat. And they then went on to abuse the victim, laugh at the tragedy, and be holier than thou to a dead man.
Here are just a few comments from the hundreds posted on his FB page and across social media that shows how apathetic many of us are.
“F*** u arjun.......losers suicide....
u had no balls to fight....
u just end it like dat....
goodbye......don’t need u back”
“He's a psychopath who ends up his life for nothing. Looser”
“We have lost a genius once again. Guys please think about your responsibility to your society and your country...and above all to your parents ......before you do this.... your talent is not yours only...it is the fruit of the society, the pains that your parents have undertaken....and further it is mother India....who expects some contribution of yours....so please never so this.”
“He doesn’t seem depressed.”
“Did 5 lines of coke, got the downer of his life. Jumped. How I wish you were alive and I could slap some sense into you, Rest in peace, my man. Miss, you.”
“You could have become a suicide bomber and made it count.”
“One who hurts his parents will never rest in peace.”
“Feel pity for you, you loser.”
“I saw the video, it’s cool man.”
“C******, jab life me itna depressed tha.. toh fb profile me hasti hui itti sari pics kyu daali.. artificial life jiyega toh ese hi marti rahegi..”
“You came, you enjoyed, you left. Nowhere in the video you look depressed. You were just a drug addict.”
“Suicide is not the solution for any problem, fight it.”
Journalist Shilpa Rathnam explains on Twitter why making offhand remarks about depression does not work:
At least 2 people I know who've posted "Talk to me if you're depressed" have said IRL that the cure to depression is to just get over it— Shilpa Rathnam (@shilparathnam) April 5, 2017