DON’T FACEBOOK IT: COMMUNICATE IT THE OL’ SKOOL WAY

Facebook has been an excellent way to keep in contact with friends and family members that we don’t get to see on a regular basis and it also keeps up to date on current events. However, there’s just some things that you shouldn’t have to find out through FaceBook first. Some things should be left off FaceBook or at least a last the “news source” that people go to.

For example just recently college freshman, Jasmine Benjamin, who was a nursing student at Valdosta State University was found dead in a study lounge in her dorm the week prior to Thanksgiving. Now usually when a tragedy such as this one occurs, the parents are usually the first to be contacted and they are usually contacted over the phone. According to CBS Atlanta, Benjamin’s parents said they found out about her death on Facebook.

Her parents said that the school did not inform them of her death and that they found out about it through a friend’s Facebook post. The first thing that is wrong with this scenario is that the school failed to contact the parents. You would think the school would be the first to contact the parents, especially since it happened on campus, and since schools usually have the student fill out an emergency contact card.

The next thing that is bizarre is the fact that the parents had to find out through a friend’s Facebook page. So if this is a friend, how come that friend couldn’t notify the parents via PHONE. Even if it was a friend of Benjamin, that friend could have went through Benjamin’s phone to find her parents’ number to call them.

“For someone to so insensitive not to reach out the family it is very, very hurtful to say the least,” James Jackson, Benjamin’s stepfather told CBS Atlanta.

There is always an excuse to why people didn’t do something. Schools officials said that the campus police notified Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, which notified the parents. Yes it’s great that the police station notified the parents, but in my opinion it is still the school’s responsibility to call the parents.

Another distributing thought is the fact that Benjamin had been dead for at least 12 hours before she was found because people passing by thought she was simply sleeping on the study room couch. It seems odd that nobody would have noticed that she was lying in the same spot for more than a couple of hours. It just seems like someone had to have seen something, but was too scared to step up and say something. The last part that is bizarre is the fact that the parents were told that their daughter died of natural causes but later found out it was a homicide.

“To find out it was a homicide and that somebody actually murdered our daughter changed everything,” Jackson said. “It was like hearing the news all over again.”

So what do you guys make of this whole situation? Should the school be fully responsible for her death? And when are we going to do better and stop running to Facebook to report on everything? Facebook is a social network, but it is NOT a person. Besides there are still many people in this world that do not have a Facebook and those who do have them, probably don’t check them on a constant basis.

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Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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