Why is it that only after a kid like T.J. Lane blows away 3 other kids, whose only crime was going to school that day, do we begin to look at their social media activity?
Why is it that a kid like T.J. Lane writes "Die, all of you," and we don't even think to say, "hey, T.J., (and I hope I get this right) "U Mad bro?"
Why is it that we watch people fall on the internet and, watch? Why is the thought of an email or text or God forbid, a true blue live phone call, out of the realm of possibilities?
Why do we watch?
Why do we say nothing?
We can make the excuse that we don't take it seriously, that it's all "internet banter," but why are we unwilling to know? Do we want to see the results of the truth of it?
And let's not blame the dozens or even more of T.J. Lane's 148 Facebook friends that saw his writings and did nothing. We, do nothing. No one is to blame for the decisions, insanity laced or not, T.J. Lane made this week. The blood is not on the hands of those that lurked, that read his writings and moved on to some great viral You Tube video or awesome naked pictures of some hot chick.
This concept of watching things on social media, and, watching, isn't limited to the writings of future serial killers. Lawyers do it too.
Lawyers watch other lawyers lie, puff, and create false reputations on the internet all day, and do nothing.
We, do nothing.
We see something, and see it.
Someone else will say something, but you're not going to say anything because, well, it may not make you any friends.
And the internet is all about "friends," right?
Recently I saw a cryptic status on a friend's Facebook page and I committed the cardinal sin of calling him. Yes, something was wrong. We talked about it. "How did you know?"
I saw something.
Messages fly across the net and we read them. We know the people writing them, we care about them, we eat with them, we know their families, we know these people.
But they're in "second life."
Maybe it's not true, maybe it's just to get attention.
And sometimes attention is achieved.
Non-anonymous comments welcome.Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court, and the author of The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Post to Twitter
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