An idea: trust your contact information to someone

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Ordep, Dec 3, 2009.

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  1. Ordep

    Ordep Well-Known Member

    -A person crashed pretty hard and announces it's going to put an end to it all, and will not be returning to SF anymore.

    -That person logs off in a state of despair and mental iinstability, intending never to log on again.

    -Everyone else here in SF goes into panic mode as the person must be contacted but there is no way to do it since no one has his/her personal information.

    I've seen this story quite a few times already, and the solution is so much simple: give your phone number to someone you trust here in SF, someone who comes here regulary, will notice if you decide to shut yourself from the help you get here and isnt afraid of spending a few bucks on a possibly international or interstate phonecall.

    Also, while a phonecall or even a text message are certainly a more direct way of contacting someone then a message board, nothing beats someone coming to our aid face to face, that why I'd also recommend you ask for the permission of a family member or a friend to give her/his phone number to your person of trust here in SF, under the promise that s/he'll only be bothered if the situation seems indeed dear. For obvious reasons choose someone who understand your situation as best as possible, is close enough to your area of residence and that you know s/he's enough of a friend to come to your rescue instead of merely sending another text for you to stop.

    If we do that, no matter how bad things get, no matter how much our hurt feelings may tell us to isolate ourselves, there'll be always a way for those out here who worry and care to contact us.
  2. WildCherry

    WildCherry Staff Member ADMIN

    I agree; I think it's a good idea and something that's really important.
  3. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I do think that is a good idea! I have one friend from here with my phone number... but not an active user any longer.
  4. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    I think this is a great idea Pedro!!
  5. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    Agree 100%

    A few people here have mine already. Will make sure there are a couple more.
  6. DrivEthermissIon

    DrivEthermissIon Banned Member

    You're doing good here Pedro, don't forget it ^__^
  7. max0718

    max0718 Well-Known Member

    I agree, excellent idea Pedro. Maybe the admin can even keep private records of the members (those who wish to of course), and when something goes wrong someone can contact them and they can alert the authorities. Also just an idea. Gives someone that extra bit of security if they're new here.
  8. nok1888

    nok1888 Well-Known Member

    Good idea, wouldnt work for me though when I go bad I shut myself of from the world including phonecalls. Mind you I usually still eventually read my texts. Not that I know anyone here anyway but good idea all the same
  9. NoGood

    NoGood Well-Known Member

    make sure you trust the person!!!! make sure they are real!!!

    It personally wouldnt work for me, cause if i do it, i dont wanna be saved.
  10. Confusticated

    Confusticated Well-Known Member

    There's the issue though, that you can bet your ass not everyone on here is genuine. It's happened a lot, people come on here and tell a whole lot of lies, and sometimes they stick around for a while. Sometimes it's to get close to vulnerable people, sometimes it's just because they think it's funny. Yeah, I know, they're more fucked up than anyone on here thinks they are, especially when no one here is fucked up anyway. Not sure why everyone seems to think they are.

    To the point though, how can you trust someone with your phone number when there're so many people out there just trying to mess with your life a little? When there're so many who aren't really genuine and just want a little bit of attention? I'll always be happy to help anyone who asks, and I'm not accusing anyone, don't get me wrong. But I can't be the only person to think this, surely? And if I'm not, then it's definately not going to work for a number of people.
  11. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    You're right, and without naming names I think we have all encountered one or two of these people.
    Which is worrying, but I suppose all you can do is maybe confide in somebody you have spoken to long term? Msn, Facebook, all that sort of thing? You can never truly know but again as someone said - maybe giving your details to more than one person will up your chances.
  12. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    I have to agree with Red Tears.. You would have to be very carefull about who you give it to.. I have had three people here at the forum who I took as being close friends and found out they were all three full of shit and lied about everything..Really take your time and get to know these contacts better before you leap..
  13. Ordep

    Ordep Well-Known Member

    Obviously don't give that information to anyone, use common sense. People who have just registered still have to prove their goodwill but people like IrishDoll, Bill/Forpetessake, Tam and many many others have long since proved their worth and desire to do nothing else but good and are like 99% safe to trust that information.

    Apart from that notion, obviously get to know the person well before trusting him/her that information, there's never a way to truly know someone, especially over the internet, but a troll can be easily spotted in the distance. If a person trusts you and you trust them, the chances of something going wrong are smaller than the chances of you getting run over by a car as you walk down the street, is that keeping you from going out?

    And to the people who ay it wouldn't work for them as they isolate themselves when they're feeling suicidal, that's exactly why I said to ask a real-life friend to give his/her number to the person you trust here, so that the people who can physically interact with you can know what's going on and if needed, call the police or even stop you themselves.

    It might have its flaws, but if this ends up saving at least one person, I'm glad I brought this idea up, I already did my part by sharing my information, I think you should do to when you establish a good friendship out here.
  14. Ignored

    Ignored Staff Alumni

    They tried this before, years ago. Didn't work... can't remember why. I think we have to be realistic... some people come here and will eventually succeed in killing themselves. The vast majority will not, and we can be thankful that there are some who get some support out of being part of the community. However, we can't be responsible for everyone who comes onto the forum. I also think that there are too many variables with giving out details... and I also think that it ups the ante for those feeling suicidal, who might not be able to express how bad they're feeling in case they get police/ambulance turning up at the door due to some well meaning person. I know that I wouldn't post and would just sod off in those sort of circumstances. All the hoo haa (no matter how well meaning) I think discourages people from coming back and admitting that they haven't succeeded. I know we want people to know that we care but I can't see what good the panicky 'have you seen so and so' threads do anyone.
  15. TWF

    TWF Well-Known Member

    I agree somewhat. It definetely shouldn't be brought onto people, this forum should be the gateway to preventing suicide.
  16. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    Good Idea :)

    Who wants my info
  17. bubblin girl

    bubblin girl Well-Known Member

    I see its a good idea :)
  18. lawstudentindebt

    lawstudentindebt Active Member

    I would generally advise against this, unless you've had extended conversations with the person and ALREADY trust them as a confidante. Before giving out your contact information, I'd encourage every member to seriously weigh his/her particular costs and benefits here.


    The general benefit of sharing your contact information is that you get someone to call in a crisis situation. That might be a significant benefit if you don't have anyone you feel comfortable calling, but you should ask yourself seriously whether you REALLY lack anyone else. If you have other close friends or family--who you trust--and who might be understanding, give them due consideration. On the other hand, there could also be costs in calling friends and family members in a crisis, since they have more at stake and might not behave rationally, and might not understand your situation as well as someone else who is also suicidal and thus might be better able to empathize and relate to your circumstances. That should also be taken into account.

    The costs of sharing your contact information include, among other things, 1) the danger of identity fraud, 2) our imperfect ability to judge someone's character when all we have is online postings, 3) the significant power you give someone over you by sharing contact information, and the 4) abandonment of the anonymity that allows us to share more in cyberspace than in real life.

    1) There are no screening requirements to enter this website; it would be fairly easy for an outsider to pose as a suicidal individual with the intent of gaining personal info for bad purposes like identity fraud.

    2) In cyberspace, you can't assess someone's character as easily as you can in person. In person, you hear tones of voice, see facial expressions, get a sense of demeanor, and hear the words someone speaks as they spontaneously speak. In cyberspace, all you have are the words that someone has had time to think about. This gives you less information to base your judgments of that person on. Just cautious and mindful of your limited information about whoever you're considering giving your contact information to.

    3) Similarly, you don't know how this person might use the information you provide. Suppose somewhere down the line you say something on the message board that accidentally offends your confidante--they might have the power to reveal your confidential suicidal thoughts to your friends on social networking sites, depending on what information you give them. This could have severe social consequences, and might even trigger some to commit suicide. Of course, such actions would be quite rare. I'm not suggesting that anyone in particular here would do such a thing, or that the people here generally are of a type that would do that. Rather, because you have less opportunity to judge character (see discussion above at (2)), you have less ability to weed out the unique individual who would behave this way.

    4) Keep in mind that part of the reason we come here is to maintain a certain gloss of anonymity. Because of that, we're more likely reveal more personal thoughts than we would to people who we know in real life, and who know our acquaintances. By sharing contact information, you give up some of the benefit of that anonymity.

    Just food for thought.
  19. brueyh1976

    brueyh1976 Well-Known Member

    That's a great idea and would only trust the peeps that were mentioned. It would certainly save a lot of panic.
  20. Ordep

    Ordep Well-Known Member

    You actually missunderstood what i proposed here, I'm not suggesting exchange of contact information for phone support (tough if 2 people trust themselves enough, there nothing stopping them from that), all I'm suggesting is that people share their phone number with someone they trust in order to be still reachable in an event where they might refuse any kind of help due to severe psychological pain or to rest the members of the forum if the person stops coming to the forums, go to the crisis section and count how many people are there asking for a member who went missing, I'm trying to avoid that. Ive seen people saying they were never going to post again and would kill themselves that day, then what follows is people trying to figure out some way to contact someone close to the person, I wont name people but I remember an incident were a user declared his intention to leave the forums and kill himself that day, and people were proposing trying to find his relative's facebook or any way to contact someone close to him, all of this would be so much easy if only someone would step in and say "I have his friend's phone number, the situation seems bad so I'll give him a call." This is for crisis only, nothing else. Personally, a user here has my contact but dont have hers so technically I cant call her in a crisis (since I can just log on, it defeats the purpose) but if I snap and decide I'm killing myself tonight, she knows who to call.

    You've also said that a relative or real-life friend might over-react and while that's true, a person who can physically interact with you will always stand a better chance of stopping you if you made up your mind then someone posting on a message board. With that said, you're obviously supposed to ask that person for his/her permission and if you still havent done so, you'll have to explain your friend of your situation and why you want to give his/her number to a friend online, so the chances of over-reacting are slim I believe.

    1) Maybe this is my naivity shining through, but how can you perform identity theft with a person's phone number? I didn't advice people to share their social security number and bank account, just the phone number and maybe the phone of a friend who knows your situation.

    2) Again, I wouldnt advice having someone who you met a week ago be your person of trust, as they may be slower trolls, but people with over 1000 posts and have a history of helping people here in the forums are very likely to be good enough to hold your phone number and pick up the phone if something bad happens.

    3) Again, maybe my naivety shining through but what significant power does a person gain by knowing someone else's phone number? Its not like you can match my phone number to my bank account or place of residence.

    4) 1 person in an online forum knowing your phone number (who, again, doesnt reveal any personal information of its user) doesn't make you any less annonymous.

    Ehh no, the best someone pretending to be a suicidal individual could achieve is actually giving HIS/HERS phone number to someone, which wouldn't do him/her any good as I believe we'll agree. No one is going to trust his/her phone number to a person they never spoke to and has no reputation in SF.

    Not sure where you're going with this but anyway, as I've said before, there are people here who have proved themselves worthy of trust time and again, when you spend a year logging in every single day and provinding help to anyone who requires it, the odds of that person suddenly turning evil and diabolically are very very slim. I know you are new here, but I hope you'll realise that there are people here who just want to help, and those are the people who I'm advising people to, after they get to know and trust them, share their phone number so contact can be established when the internet fails us.

    Again, a phone number isn't likely to give much away about the person who owns the phone so if you and your person of trust have a fight and things get sour, the only thing I can see your person of trust doing is calling you in the middle of the night just to wake you up, its no less danger than your ex gf/bf having your number. Even if that person also has the number of one friend of yours, this friend will already have knowledge of your suicidal intentions so what can the best tell him/her that he/she doesnt already know?

    You already spoke about this earlier so again, 1 person in a whole community knowing your phone number (which doesnt reveal anything about yourself) isn't likely to take away any of your anonymity. 2 people in this forum know my phone number. What can you tell about me other than my nationality and first name?

    I see you're new here and in time I hope you make some friends because there are amazing people here. But while I hope this never happens to you, if one day one of your friends decides he/she had enough and is going to kill him/herself, logging off without any intentions of coming back, or if the person decides to log off and never return, leaving you to wonder if he/she's ok, then you'll be wishing for that phone number, and then you'll realise where I'm coming from.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009
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