How a Facebook status invoked violence

In a BBC News article from October 17th I found the following… then the commentary

A man has been jailed for life for stabbing his wife to death over a posting she made on the social networking site Facebook.

We first send thoughts to the family affected by this.  Physical voilence stemming from comments, postings and updates made to social networking sites is becoming more prevalent.  Luckily the gentleman received prison time for his actions after pleading guilty.

So how did it transpire?  The woman and man break up, he is still her “friend” on Facebook.  Soon after he moves out from their home, she changes her status to say single, letting everyone that sees her status know she is no longer involved with someone.  He is still listed as a person (or friend) that can see her updates, finds the change online and gets upset enough to drive over and start physical harm.  This is in no way the fault of the victim, but a lesson in preventative measures just the same.

Is projecting this massive amount of personal information really necessary?  Is telling someone where you are eating, standing in line or shopping important enough for everyone to know? Or just family?  Maybe close friends? How about your current relationship status?  Wouldn’t those that needed to know find out through other contacts in a timely manner? 

We casually glance as we fill in mundane field after mundane field, never imagining that something so trivial could turn deadly.  Yet we are not the other person, the one watching your profile.  In this instance, I would imagine the man that was shunned was almost at the point of stalking,w atching her every update and news to be part of what he is no longer.

These are some of the items that we look upon as fun or silly inside of the social networks, but due to the unknown reaction of the watchers, they become a catalyst for behaviors that are unexpected.  Think twice before you sill out every possible amount of your profile on the networks and evaluate if it changes the meaning, usefulness or even provides value for yourself and those you are connected to.