Suicide is the Ultimate Choice
In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a young man committed suicide after his roommate tweeted his choices. Please read this article. My thoughts are quite forward:
Suicide is the ultimate choice
As an expert in the field of self and other abuse/violence, I have discovered one common factor that links all suicides, and that is the involved validated the wrong thought. Suicide is a desperate act of surrendered avoidance. As pointed out, individuation is key to the self-efficacy to coping with interpersonal conflict, more; it is key to what I refer to as realizing the human condition. Of course, reality is unique for all, and yet the human condition is a wanting condition never satisfied. From birth, we innately strive for competence and independence, which is the human condition. Another way of stating this, from birth we are all dependent and incompetent in fending not only for our personal self, rather our social self as well. Psychosocial development is then the transition of experiencing individuation in competence and independence.
Competence and independence constitutes conflict as the drive behind human nature. No one embraces dependence and incompetence. Instinctively we present our physical self to the world and yet participate through our mental self. It is through our mental self that we either embrace or surrender our power of control to individuation. Individuation in power of control is the confluence to our innate needs for competence and independence. At any given point in time, the opportunity to embrace this confluence constitutes our fit for who we think we are in relation to the world lived. When this fit is threatened, real or ideal, an anger-response ensues. The goals to all anger-responses are to intimidate, punish, or eliminate the threat. When the anger-response is personalized, catastrophized and projected onto the self, the elimination is personal. Tyler Clementi personalized and catastrophized his threat as real. He validated his thoughts and acted upon his drive to maintain competence through the ultimate act of avoidance. Tyler Clementi made a choice, a choice that so many of us can learn valuable lessons. We can learn, indeed, but only if we are open to the lesson. Unfortunately, the skill of learning how to learn from consequences is manifest as fanciful fictional mysticism. After all, experience teaches, only if the involved is open to the lesson.
The risk of suicide, be it either immediate or incremental as through alcohol and drug abuse, is exponential to the inability to delay gratification. The inability to delay gratification plays its hand through irrational impression management, extremely low frustration tolerance, and explosive impulse control. The antithesis to delaying gratification is technology. Indeed there are diminished returns on technology. As technology rises, the ability to delay personal and social gratification decreases. As technology strives to make life more efficient, interpersonal skills are lost, and worse, empathy gives way to desensitization. Facebook and Twitter are now platforms for beginning and ending relationships, argumentation, and communication. I suggest a new word for communication, and that is “techmunication.” Makes sense, since communication is 60 percent body language, 30 percent inflection, and 10 percent words. Today, people are only techmunicating words. What is behind the words is lost, and what is lost will have consequences.