There’s a new app out called Samaritans Radar, offered by UK mental health charity Samaritans, that allows users to sign up to have their friends’ Twitter accounts monitored for words and phrases like “suicide,” “tired of being alone,” “hate myself, “depressed,” and “help me.” The app then sends the user a notification so that they can respond to their friend.
It’s a really, really nice idea at heart. But it’s flawed, and people are speaking out about it. The basic problem is this, as this blogger who has Lupus and deals with mental health issues points out:
You might also be thinking “What’s the big deal; they’d see your Tweets if they follow you anyway.” It’s the idea of being monitored by strangers for what they perceive as signs of suicidal ideation, who are then prompted by an app on what steps to take.
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Radar is calling it “shocking” and “bizarre” that Jaylen Fryberg’s friends and classmates miss him, that they have good things to say about him, and that they’ve built a memorial for him by the memorials for his victims at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School fence. Late last week, Fryberg shot and killed one classmate and seriously injured four others before turning the gun on himself.
By all accounts, Jaylen Fryberg was a nice kid from a good family. You don’t have to be a bad person to own or shoot a gun or feel like hurting someone, and you don’t have to be crazy. Remember when six-year-old Dedrick Owens killed a seven-year-old classmate? He said “I don’t like you” before he pulled the trigger. He did it in front of classmates. To me, casually, these situations sound remarkably similar. A fifteen-year-old — going through puberty, dealing with the stresses of adolescence, and inexperienced with dealing with a breakup — is not necessarily that much more emotionally intelligent or composed than a six-year-old. He was a kid, not a maniac. Keep reading »
Bye Felipe is an Instagram collection of Tinder creeps curated by Alexandra Tweten, an Los Angeles-based journalist inspired by her own bad experiences on Tinder. The difference between Bye Felipe (the name is inspired by the “Bye, Felicia” meme) and other blogs dedicated to exposing assholes on dating sites is the particular kind of asshole they expose: The guys who escalate and get angry reallllly fast if women reject them, don’t answer them, or simply exist, in some cases.
The Atlantic is calling this a “feminist” initiative. It pains me to think that asking men to be basically decent and polite is part of a non-mainstream political effort to erase the gender gap, because it seems like it should just be something that everyone does for the sake of doing it. But it’s women, not men, who are experiencing sexual harassment online — in dating apps less of the time and on social media more often. That gender difference means something about men’s attitudes toward sex and women, specifically that they feel entitled to sex and entitled to women. In that context, sexual rejection isn’t just a normal part of human interactions, it’s a denial of something they perceive to be rightfully theirs. Keep reading »
Lucca is a little bit jealous of my loom.
I can’t even start to explain why I love weaving so much without first explaining, as best I can, what it feels like to have an ADD brain. While I think I would still love weaving even if I didn’t have attention deficit disorder, its therapeutic and meditative qualities have been a life changer.
I don’t really know what other people’s brains are like, but mine has about 7-10 actual trains of thought going through it at once, and those trains of thought are speed bumping over other smaller thought distractions which appear and then vanish just as quickly as they arrive. Of those 7-10 actual thought strands, only a few of them are actually clear and followable; it’s like my brain is thinking about more than I could possibly keep up with, so the goal is to try really, really hard to focus on just one or two of those things running through my brain, letting the others reduce to a murmur in the background. The popcorn thoughts appear out of nowhere and can throw me off — “MY IM IS GOING OFF,” “OOH CUTE SHOES,” “SQUIRREL!” — and suddenly I’m like, “Ack, what was I thinking about? The layout of my new apartment and where to put all of my furniture? No, no, no, wrong one, Amelia, don’t follow that train of thought now, that’s for later. You were thinking about how to write this essay about your ADD — oh Christ another blinking IM, better click it!” Keep reading »
Last week was Body Confidence Week in the UK, a social media marketing campaign led by Dove (of course). I watched on Sunday as the UK body positivity organization Shape Your Culture got the hashtag #fatisnotafeeling to trend on Twitter in response to Facebook adding “fat” and “ugly” as emotions for status updates. Keep reading »