Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

You Death Paparazzi Need To Be Stopped!

Image of Rochelle Gonzales
Rochelle Gonzales

I AM truly disheartened as I have come to the realization that if I die in an unnatural and horrific manner, there will be no dignity for my lifeless corpse, and there will also be no respect for my grieving loved ones here and abroad.

What’s even more disheartening is knowing that the ones robbing me of that dignity will most likely be the ones charged with looking after my body when I pass on.

A disturbing trend has been noticed and to say that it is horrendous would be a massive under-statement.

It is no surprise that St. Lucians have become scarily de-sensitized of death and real-life gore. In fact, I wrote about this very same issue last year; however, it would seem that the race to be the first to inform the world of the latest tragedy has now intensified.

For years, individuals have been making it their business to use their mobile phones to capture scenes of gruesome and even fatal incidents, including vehicular crashes and collisions, shootings, choppings, stabbings and suicides.

Over the years, it has become the unfortunate norm to spot such images and videos online for the world to see, leaving a trail of trauma and pain as they make their way through the World Wide Web.

However, as if that disgusting and heartless behaviour was not enough, on any given day, one can now clearly see that some of the images and videos being disseminated seemingly originated from the phones of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), who are the first responders on such scenes, as well as the police, nurses and hospital staff and even workers at funeral homes (that last one, in particular, scares me because I can recall the incident where an individual was murdered and within days photos of his genitals were being circulated because his gender was always a topic of discussion while he was alive).

Now tell me, how and why did things deteriorate to this point? When did we as a society become so bloodthirsty that even the ones who should be looking after us are now pandering to the public to feed their need and satisfy their sadistic curiosity?

I have said this a million times and I will not stop saying it: people need to stop being so selfish and put themselves in the shoes of the dying/deceased and their loved ones.

People are so quick to share, as long as it is the image of someone they are not closely connected to, but the very moment it all comes to their doorsteps, they will be the first ones on the local and social media begging people to desist from sharing the images.

I am positive that no one would want their mangled or lifeless images being plastered on the Web and in peoples’ mobile devices, being gawked at as if they were part of a weird social experiment or a part of a horror film.

So to turn around and give scores of different gruesome sights, whilst mentally comparing each scene to the previous, is nothing less than sick!

There are even members of the local media who actually target the EMTs and police for such information and, sad to say, they get it. Why they feel the need to have such images in hand is beyond me because I don’t see how it adds to any report. But, hey, that’s just my opinion.

As far as I see it, I don’t need to see gaping wounds, brain matter and gushing blood to write a report stating that someone lost their life in a gruesome manner. So again I state, and to the ones who believe that it helps, it is not a necessity and you are just accessories to this disturbing and cruel trend.

As for the EMTs, and even the nurses and hospital staff, who seemingly partake in this business, I am so disappointed because I have always been one to sing your praises and to hail you all as the unsung heroes that most of you are. But this is anything but heroic because now I’m questioning whether some people could have survived had you been concentrating on saving their lives rather than sparking off the latest viral death photos.

In such times, every millisecond counts, so are you really saving lives when you take five seconds to pull your phones out and a further ten seconds or more to take a good photo or video?

I truly hope that any one of you caught doing this — and this goes across the board — I hope you are penalized because truly this should be the last thing on the minds of people in your positions.

Again, before being labelled a hypocrite, this also applies to the members of the media and the media houses, especially the online ones, who insist of going that route. Information can be disseminated in a way that will not traumatize and hurt viewers and readers. God, I feel like I’m fighting a futile battle here because as fickle as St. Lucians are, their stubbornness for all the wrong causes is infamous.

I guess if you all don’t want to hear, you will learn when it’s your turn.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team…Read full bio…

 

7 Comments

  1. I’m beginning to think they like it, our ignorance about the dignity of someones loved one/ones. I think they get a hype knowing that they are the first to share news or videos…..people have become, heartless and cold……I want everyone doing this to just put their child in the victims place.

  2. Although I live in the US, I am a St.Lucian and made that same comment a few days ago. It is as if St. Lucians have no moral filter, it is disheartening, no respect, empathy or sympathy for the deceased or their families. It is shameful. Thank you for speaking out, I know I certainly do when someone sends me photos of such.

  3. Hey Rochelle, i am with you on that one. Bloodthirsty…indeed, I guess we do not get enough entertainment… It always remind me of the countless time I found myself in a traffic jam, just to realize that the slow down is not caused at all by the police or the accident itself, but by the people in front of me slowing down…just to ‘take a look’.

  4. Well done. Speaking from experience, I have long commented on articles where there has been the apparent need by the media to publish photos of the deceased or site of death without so much as a fleeting thought for family concerned. So insensitive.

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