What have we become?

August 21, 2012

Death is an unstoppable moment. The very end all of our physical lives on this Earth.

This final act always seems sacred and private. But the death of famed director Tony Scott was anything but that.

As his life hung in the balance, he allegedly took a leap of faith into the waters below the shadow of the Vincent Thomas Bridge. A very private moment made completely public.

Witnesses are emerging in the wake of Scott's death, describing his last moments. Not only are they emerging, but some are even profiting from the death, selling videos and photos of the jump.

As I read this particular story this morning, I began to wonder what has become of us? Have we gone so cold that we feel it right to infringe on someone's alleged suicide?

True, we can argue that this was done in a very public place, but could we not put away the cameras and turn our heads, allowing him to fall in peace?

To be honest, I pose this question because I don't even know if I can answer it myself. In today's world, we're technologically driven. We capture all of life's moments with our smart technology.

Really, part of life is the passage to death. We all die, as comfortable or uncomfortable as that reality may be, it's true.

So is it wrong to profit off selling this type of Faces of Death video to eager tabloids and online gore sites? Of course.

Now, was it wrong to have captured this on video? Who really knows.

Who am I to say I wouldn't have pulled out my phone? I'd like to think I wouldn't.

As a reporter, I've seen far too much reality. I've seen things many haven't. It's not easy. Our photographers respectfully put their cameras away at fatal wrecks. I tend to turn away. Not for my sake, but for their sake.

I also think we've all naturally gravitated toward death because of its mystery. We are fascinated by that which we are unsure of.

I also feel that technology has changed us as a people. Have you ever thought how much more we would know about the events of 9/11 had social media been around?

We would have seen photos, video, Facebook posts and real-time tweets of all these events as they unfolded. A reality that could have given us much more evidence, but also heartache.

So what are your thoughts on some of the witnesses profiting off Scott's death? What do you think of how people handled themselves as a man possibly contemplated suicide?

Comment below. I'd love to read your thoughts.