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MySpace suicide pacts


This is too sad for me to go into the details. Read the Sydney Morning Herald coverage here.

AT JUST 16 Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier appear to have made an unimaginable pact. On her MySpace web page Jodie had written: “let Steph and me b free.”

Yesterday, a week after they disappeared, the bodies of the two girls were found in bushland on the outskirts of Melbourne. It is understood Jodie and Stephanie had hanged themselves, after first posting apparent farewell messages on the internet.

But I do want to ask – if you were to come across a suicide note on a forum, or a blog or a chat channel what would you do? It’s a question I’ve had to face many times over the years – particularly from new moderators – and I still don’t have an easy answer. It does take experience to know if its a real issue or attention seeking or teens letting off steam. But still, these emo kids, so disenfranchised… 🙁

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

6 thoughts on “MySpace suicide pacts

  1. I think sadly I would ignore it – there are so many false alarms, and not just from teenagers.

    The note left by these girls that did commit suicide was vague enough that I wouldn’t have noticed anything untoward about it – every teenager wants to “be free”.

    A sad sad sad situation.

  2. I didnt know these girls, dont even live in the same state. Heard about it from google news. (Been off the ‘net – provider issues). I feel for those of you that are left. Its tragic. What I dont get is, you guys n gals know each other, some well, some not-so well. the teenage years (Ive felt) are the most difficult of years, so many changes, growing up, responsibilities. Its easy to be overwhelmed. (It was 4 me). But no one saw this coming. No one interveened. (If a friend hadn’t interveened, i wouldnt be here now). The tryanny of distance shouldnt be so much of a problem with the ‘net almost anywhere. Its too late to help these girls. They’ve found their answers. I pray that someone, somewhere, will try to help those that are left, to try to help them thru this tragedy. To help them see that the path these girls took is not necessarily the path for those that are left to take. I always think, tomorrow has got to be better, right.

  3. If I can find it, I will try to call police at first.

    The tragic event is happened. however, i want to know why they want to do so? it is the social problem or family problem? i have my own son, I am worrying about their minds.

    from the point of my view, OZ children is in the generation of happy and lucky generation in this world. They can do what they like to do, however, maybe this is also the problem for them to kill themselves. The main concerns may be are how do we educate our children in a right way?

    I think OZ children lack of crisis feeling and ambition to get a successful human life. this is our education system failure.

    We need a system that can stimulate our children’s ambition, at least i say so.

    Can we do something?

  4. Yeah Cheryl, I suspect I would’ve done the same – and I would’ve dismissed it with “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”… without realising what I was thinking. 🙁

    for both anonymous and cloud – I believe those two youngsters were in the grips of teen angst that was probably physical i.e. hormonal. It is only with age and experience and release from hormonal changes that we learn not to care so much about what others think of us, and to remember that “tomorrow has got to be better” because it always has been – it is time that teaches us that. And cloud, while poverty and disease and lack of education may mean that teens in others parts of the world have *real* things to worry about, going back to third world is not a solution, no? And I think Australian children are very sensitive to ambition, and not failing their parents, and not being seen as morons in the eyes of their peers. There’s not a child the world over who hasn’t faced that particular evil down – it’s heartbreaking that these two lost that particular battle. 🙁

  5. Hi my name is also Laurel. I’m 16. I would have completely dismissed a suicide note, unless it was someone I knew well. Being suicidal has become a “Fad” or “Trend” known as ‘Emo’. It’s everywhere! People do it for attention or even to fit in. It makes me sick! So when teens threaten to take their life, I blow it off, and sometimes even get angry. I guess I shouldn’t cause it could be something serious. But coming from a time when I did anything just to make the pain go away, it angers me when people play with suicide, just for a trend. I yelled at my 8 year old niece one day for saying she wanted to kill herself. She doesn’t know what she is saying but it just hits a nerve. Self mutilation is a sickness, and people all around me are doing it all the time. Like I said, being Emo is a trend and it’s really hard to take people serious. It makes me sad, it really does. Here’s a website you should check out. http://www.emo-corner.com/ If you would like to discuss further here’s my email. girl_unique_91@yahoo.com

  6. Hey Laurel! Thanks for your story – and y’know, our name means something like ‘stronger after challenges’. That’s why they give Laurels (wreath) to Winners! 🙂

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