Monday 13 January 2020

Young man admitted to psychiatric ward due to lack of social media accounts

Cologne (dpo) - He will probably not ‘like’ this: today, 22 year-old Sven B was sectioned and admitted to a secure psychiatric ward since he does not have any accounts with any social networking sites, such as Instagram, Snapchat or even Facebook. This comes after Sven B’s friends alerted the health authorities saying they were extremely worried about this young man’s antisocial behaviour.

“Poor Sven”, writes Sylvia R, a good friend of Sven B’s, on her Facebook timeline. “He always seemed so happy, claiming that he did not need social networking sites to communicate with his friends. Well, we all knew that couldn’t be true. How would that work?”
Many of Sylvia’s 489 Facebook friends agreed immediately with emojis like “☹”, “☹” or by clicking on the feeling, “sad”.
Sven’s friends would have loved to just add him
There also seems to be no apparent reason as to why Sven B was not a member of any of the multiple social networking sites available. According to his friends, his looks are photogenic enough to take attractive selfies using the Clarendon filter. He also owns both a smartphone and an internet-enabled computer. Finally, his hands are strong and healthy, so he would not have experienced any physical problems when uploading photos or updating his story seven times a day.
Now, Sven B is being kept in a secure unit of a psychiatric hospital and receiving strong medication. The doctor in charge of his case reports that, “If the patient had been over 40, we would not have admitted him immediately but rather placed him under observation. You see, with older patients, we often find that a large proportion of their peers also have no social media accounts. A 22 year-old, however, poses a completely different scenario. With a Digital Native who is not a member of Instagram, or at least Twitter or Whatsapp, it is immediately clear that he suffers from a severe disorder, or is ‘totally cray-cray’ as the kids say.”
According to the authorities, Sven B will only be allowed to leave the secure unit on condition that he accepts that his behaviour was abnormal. That entails registering with Instagram, Facebook and various other sites, as well as learning how to use hashtags, update his Facebook status regularly and send pushy friend requests to people he does not even know. He is also required to post at least one helfie, suglie or welfie every day.
ssi; picture above: © Werner Heiber -, picture on the right: © Thomas Pajot -; first published 2018-01-23
Read the slightly different German version HERE.
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