Spotting red flags in social media posts

  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 22 May 2019

THE suicide of the teenager in Sarawak following an Instagram poll that allegedly encouraged her to take her life has made me rethink my social media habits.

Many times, I have been the nosy friend who has tried to drop in a line to “better understand” a certain emotional outburst, a vague quote or a provoking thought.

Could this person be hurting and needs a listening ear? Could he have misunderstood an overused quote? Could she be in fear? Or could this person be serious about his/her post?

There have been admissions of the posting being random, but there have also been deeper conversations from my probing. On the whole, however, I have been told to take a chill pill.

We often discount social media interactions as lacking depth. We tend to avoid the pain in our lives lest we be judged as seeking attention. So, we zero in on the joys of our day as happiness is to be shared. In short, we live in a “don’t overthink” culture.

Perhaps it’s time we stop this. We could cultivate mechanisms or awareness to spot red flags in social media posts. At the very least, we should teach the next generation that not every matter is to be treated with jest. There are some cries that need a better response.


Seri Kembangan, Selangor


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