One of the most favorites of popular fads these days are the social media networks. A majority of electronic devices (desktops, laptops, cell phones, etc.) are already installed with pre-loaded apps for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms before they leave the manufactures. These media platforms are a great source for entertainment purposes, keeping up-to-date on the latest news and events, networking, playing online games, and staying in touch with friends and family. While this social media epidemic appears to be meekly harmless fun on the forefront, there have been reports of it becoming a severe unhealthy addiction for some, especially when that addiction teeters on the avenue of gross negligence.
A South Korean couple was arrested and charged with starving their three-month-old daughter to death while they obsessively devoted a majority of their waking hours into playing an online role-playing game, Prius Online, whose main objective was to raise a virtual baby girl. The couple seemed to have slipped into an overwhelming depressive state of mind due to their sudden unemployment status and the reality of giving birth to a premature baby girl. Obviously, their uncontrollable addiction to this role-playing game was a remedy for escaping their own reality. The tragedy of their willfully negligent behavior became more of an irreparable reality than the one they have imagined was necessary to escape from.
A 28-year-old New Mexico mother was convicted of second degree murder and child abandonment for the negligent death of her three-year-old daughter. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be starvation, with traces of cat liter in her digestive system. FBI agents assigned to the investigation were astonished to find a computer located in the home which showed continuous online activity from noon until 3am on the day of the child’s death. During her trial, the remorseful mother admitted to spending countless hours online playing the fantasy role playing game “World of Warcraft”.
Some parents joyously spend hours at the computer updating their facebook and twitter statuses of their children’s playful antics, milestone developments, and proud photos of their playful antics. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It is only when this devotion to any social media platform begins to mutilate one’s state of mind whereas they are no longer able to distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality is when intervention not only becomes imperative, it becomes an urgent life or death emergency.
©2013 Learus Ohnine