The Road to Virtual Suicide

"Free yourself from the constriction of your identity! Similar to the seppuku – the ancient ritual suicide used by Japanese samurais to restore their honour– deals with the liberation of the digital body, in order to help people discover what happens after their virtual life and to rediscover the importance of being anyone, instead of pretending to be someone."

~ From seppukoo [dot] com


321TEENCHAT 17/01/10 08:33PM

CHATROOM 51

Zuri, you are in a private conversation with Mike!

Mike says: nice name

Zuri says: thank you. It's African.

Mike says: so you're African?

Zurisays: maybe

Mike says: are you female or male?

Zuri says: isn't it obvious?

Mike says: I don't know much about African names…

Zuri says: female

Mike says: cool

Zuri says: how old are you?

Mike says: 16

Zuri says: Mike, can you keep a secret?

Mike says: sure, love secrets

Zuri says: I want to kill myself.

Mike has disconnected.

***

ZURI'S BLOG – Drop a comment and say hi! I'm Zuri, 14, and I love music and food. I'd love to get to know you, so please comment.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17th, 2010, 8:35PM

So, I've decided. I'm going to commit suicide. Virtually slash my throat.

All those months of debating about it, I think I have to. I'm going to use Seppukoo. I'm about to set up my memorial page really soon.

Why can't I, anyway? It's not like my social life is getting any better. Only two people have posted messages on my Facebook wall as of yesterday, and the number of followers on my Twitter account has dropped by 5 people, I only have 726 followers now! I have had absolutely no friend requests for a week. To top it all off, my boyfriend has been giving me the silent treatment for spending more time on the Internet than with him.

So, I've decided. I'm going to commit suicide.

COMMENTS (3)

From Jess:

CALY, NO! That's ridiculous! What about all your friends? And your photos? And what about your Farmville? Are you going to leave them all just like that?

From Alison:

I've only known you for a few months, but I think you're making a mistake. You don't know what will happen if you do, you're going to go into a world that you have absolutely no idea about.

From Zuri:

Thanks, everyone. I know it's such an insane idea, but I think I have to. I've become addicted to the point where I can't stand it anymore.

***

321TEENCHAT 17/01/10 08:40PM

CHATROOM 51

Zuri, you are in a private conversation with Mike!

Mike says: sorry, got cut off before. You want to commit suicide?!

Zuri says: yes.

Mike says: but… what about all your friends?

Zuri says: it's going to be hard. But I hope they'll survive…

Mike says: you're an addict, aren't you.

Zuri says: is it that obvious?

Mike says: there's more and more now…

Zuri says: I suppose. But I have to cut myself off.

Mike says: how are you going to do it?

Zuri says: I was thinking with the bullet. That seems quick and painless.

Mike says: you'd make more of an exit if you used a knife or even a sword. Show the blood.

Zuri says: or maybe by suffocation?

Mike says: you could stick your head in the oven like Sylvia Plath.

Zuri says: …who's Sylvia Plath?

Mike says: never mind. The more blood, the better. You could jump off a building. What about slitting your wrists? OH I've got it – you're using to suicide, aren't you? Just suicide by seppuku and cut open your belly.

Zuri says: um…

Mike says: LOL I was just kidding… haha…

Mike says: anyway, everyone's doing it now. There's not much fun on social networking sites if all your friends are killing themselves off.

Zuri says: it's sad… but there's too much pressure.

Mike says: …virtually? Or in reality?

Zuri: from both worlds.

***

ZURI'S BLOG – Drop a comment and say hi! I'm Zuri, 14, and I love music and food. I'd love to get to know you, so please comment.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17th, 2010, 8:50PM

How do you think I should set up my memorial page? These layout skins all look a bit tacky, I wish I could get one specially made for me. Pink. With a white lacey border around my photo. Oh, and strings of pearls up and down the side of the screen. What do you think?

Oh and of course, I'll need to pick out a photo. How does a girl choose from 517 different photos? I narrowed it down to fifty, and then I got my sister to help me narrow it down to five. People, help me choose. There's the one with me and my new puppy – isn't he adorable?! – I took it just last week. There's one with me when I was five on a swing – that polka dotted dress is horrible, but I love that smile on my face, I look so cute in it. This is me with my boyfriend giving me a kiss on the cheek – one of my favourites. The last two are ones I took of myself in the bathroom mirror with that new black tube top from Cotton On.

These are really important decisions. I want everything to be perfect for my memorial.

COMMENTS (5)

From Cheryl:

Ooh, I love the pink pearls and lace layout! You must make that your layout. Get someone to make it for you.

The last photo of you in that top is hot. It has to be that one.

But Caly… please don't leave us.

From Adrian:

I think you're being completely and utterly ridiculous. You do realise by setting up a memorial page people can comment on, you're refuting the entire concept of "virtual suicide"?

From Melissa:

Caly, if you want, I know some coding – I can help you make your layout?

I totally agree with Cheryl on the photo – that or the one with you and your boyfriend. I can't decide.

Deepest sympathies for you, Caly. You're so brave.

From Jackie:

Oh that layout sounds amazing. Agree with the above comments, the last photo for sure. Are you SURE though, Zuri? Leaving this world isn't something you can decide so quickly…

From Zuri:

Thank you guys!!! Melissa that would be GREAT. Could you help me set it up? I'll send you my password. And yes, Jackie – I've thought it long and through. I'm definitely going through with this.

Adrian – I don't know what you're talking about at all.

***

321TEENCHAT 17/01/10 09:15PM

CHATROOM 51

Zuri, you are in a private conversation with Mike!

Mike says: hello? Are you still there?

Zuri says: oh yeah, sorry. I was a bit distracted by my blog.

Mike says: so you're still going ahead with the whole suicide thing?

Zuri says: of course! I've got a friend who's setting up the layout I want for my memorial page, I have my photo picked out. What time do you think I should do it?

Mike says: …does it matter?

Zuri says: of course it matters!! I'm committing virtual suicide here, it should be a memorable event. It has to be something I can remember for the rest of my life.

Mike says: do it at 10:00. That gives people time to write on your memorial page right away.

Zuri says: that's a great idea, Mike. Thanks! Oh hey, add me on Facebook and write on my memorial page as well, all right? It's Zuri Patterson. Okay, I'm off to prepare my suicide.

***

ZURI'S BLOG – Drop a comment and say hi! I'm Zuri, 14, and I love music and food. I'd love to get to know you, so please comment.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17th, 2010, 10:00PM

R.I.P.

Everyone, I have officially committed virtual suicide. Go write on my memorial page on Facebook!!!

***

SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THE MEMORIAL PAGE OF ZURI PATTERSON:

Jessie Simpson: This is so sad, Caly!! We miss you… Jessie Simpson has sent you a bouquet of virtual lilies!

Colin Matthews Zuri, I can't believe you actually committed suicide. What's this world going to do without you?

Mike Andrews You actually did it. Wow. Everybody definitely misses you.

Ruby Gem Hayworth Zuri, I really hope you're in a better place now. Ruby Gem Hayworth has sent you an extra-large flower basket!

***

ZURI'S BLOG – Drop a comment and say hi! I'm Zuri, 14, and I love music and food. I'd love to get to know you, so please comment.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17th, 2010, 10:30PM

Hi everyone! I'm sharing my memorial page on my Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn accounts – so please go see and comment!

Twitter: ZuriP

MySpace: zuchinnizuri

LinkedIn: Zuri Patterson


Author's Note: I wrote this for an english project, it's actually just a small story within a larger suite of stories and was one of the more last minute ones, but I ended up liking this story more than the others. Any comments would be appreciated.

Also, let me just add that THIS IS REAL. There is actually such thing as committing "suicide" on facebook, and seppukoo is a real website.