Life, Little Things and Laughter

He posted a note. Thousands liked it. And then………. A true story.

This was what he wrote:
Okay, there is a twist to this last respect people give to their loved ones when gone. Black as signs of sadness but in my case, please rock white because I love the colour so much. To all that I have made to smile and to those I have pissed off, trust me, I’m only being human. Enikorewa, I love you so much; Eriayo, your name sums it all up; you are truly the reason for my joy. Omobolanle Ajoke, you know I care, Moradeke, my mum, may my God heal you; and to my in-laws, stay blessed always.”

DJ Seun Omogaji, a Lagos based entertainer, whose stage name was DJ XGee dropped those lines on his Instagram page some time on new year night. Within minutes, about 4000 of his followers liked the post only for them to realize that it was a suicide note when DJ XGee reportedly passed on by drinking liquid poison on the 2nd of January and was hurriedly buried the next day. His friends and fans were devasted.
But if you go back to the note above, you can tell that the first sentence was out of place for that particular time of the year. Most people are usually excited on new year eve and are definitely unlikely to talk about how they want to die even if they were drunk.
However, in this “mass followership age”, people like celebrity posts even before they actually read them. It is in the spirit of be the first to like this.
One of his followers wrote.
“You of all people? Always full of life whenever we met. Seun, whatever it was, I just wished you shared it. This one pain me o, I pray God comfort your family and kids.”
Another wrote,
“What could have gone wrong with this guy? You still made us happy yesterday at the Olowogbogboro Carnival. Why now.”

Did he or did he not?
But is it true that the DJ did not share what troubled him to anyone? Psychologists say those who commit suicide often share their troubling feelings with at least two people. That may even not be correct any more. Today, such feelings are shared with hundreds if not thousands of people in clear or cryptic social media posts. Yet even when clear, many miss such messages or gloss over them until the authors either commit suicide or commit very violent crimes.

Now, police authorities around the world are asking social media users to be a little bit more vigilant in spotting disturbing posts so that so that their authors can be helped before things go out of hand.

Facebook steps into the scene
Beginning in November 2017, Facebook deployed an artificial intelligence scanner to detect and nip suicide and other disturbing broadcasts on its platform. The aim of the artificial intelligence program is to find and review alarming posts sooner, since time is a key factor in preventing suicide or violent crimes. The tool, which is real time with thousands of human backup monitors to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, is now available to billions of Facebook users around the world.

But it is unlikely that such tools can or will be effectively used in our country where communication infrastructure between the police and general population is weak. Even if that was not the case, we cannot completely farm out such critical civil duty to a media company. By the way, it is not everyone that is on social media.

And not all who are on social media can be saved or helped in this manner. According to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg,
“No matter how many people we have on the team, we’ll never be able to look at everything”.

Therefore, the responsibility of flagging disturbed minds rests on family members and friends who should be more thoughtful in reflecting on what they hear or read from their loved ones and intervene before things become too late.

Read a related article on disturbed minds and why you need to act fast here.

About author
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Newspackng.
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