There was a horrific car crash that occurred some days ago in a suburb of New Jersey. Three lovely young women in their early twenties were out on the town basking in the joy of a sweet reunion as former high school friends, who were blossoming in their chosen paths of apprenticeship.
The festiveness of this season is palatable, and naturally the urge for extended and passionate celebrations in settings that are built for the charm of spirited revelers is hard to resist, especially when you have youthful vigor in your favor.
Tragically the drive home from a night out on the town ended with the gruesome death of the occupants of the 2012 Nissan Altima after it was deeply lodged under the rear of a tractor-trailer, that was parked at a traffic light.
The frightening scene of chaos and death spoke volumes with videos showing the slow extraction of the barely recognizable wreckage from the trailer that didn’t show any visible signs of a massive collision.
Apart from the heartbreaking visuals and background story that provides more depth to the precious lives lost, there’s also the additional information via Instagram Stories, that captured the footage of a joyous occasion that was live hours ago.
It’s quite fascinating to be embodying an era where we are armed with the tools of engagement that are utilized to produce the shots of our existence, that play on even after we’ve left this earth with unplanned brutality.
But what’s even more unnerving is how our personalized platforms are poached by media outlets as designated reference points, that are meant to serve as the accessible scrapbook, graphically depicting the body and soul of the deceased while they were breathing.
It’s a shocking experience to transition from reading the gut-wrenching details of a fatal car accident into the click-worthy content of video clips, that would ordinarily make you toast with the cheery celebrants, happily raising it up against the backdrop of brightly-lit venues and glitzy captions.
Except for the fact that the noted participants had no idea that strangers would be flooding their pages with heartfelt condolences, instead of celebratory emojis and comments of approval, cosigning the evidence of #bestlives in action.
The absolutely terrifying circumstances that cut down the lives of three vibrant young women, including a Nigerian-American, who was a law student, and whose name caught my attention, is still pending an ongoing investigation.
But what has been confirmed so far is that the stunned driver of the tractor-trailer was unharmed and remained at the scene to offer vital information.
The badly damaged car carrying the deceased passengers showed signs of a high-speed impact, and there will be tests conducted to determine if alcohol intoxication played a role.
The inconceivable loss attacking grief-stricken family members and friends will be beyond words, and already, some have taken to social media to express their pain through praises for loved ones, who had made the very best of their too short time, both personally and professionally.
And back in the day, those remembrances were enough to touch the hearts of curious observers, who didn’t know the victims, but were able to summon a healthy dose of empathy based on the collage of moving eulogies.
Today, we have something more revealing and equally disturbing, as we consume the last minutes and hours of unsuspecting targets, caught up in the relatable flow of working hard and playing harder.
As the awful breaking news spread, there was a growing thread of comments that call out the loud suspicion that the young woman at the wheel was most likely drunk and not fit to drive, based on the circulating clip that editorials are maximizing.
The footage is minutes away from the unfathomable, and shows the young women reveling in the perfect end to a memorable night.
From my impression of things, there was nothing to indicate that something was amiss, or that the driver was in no shape to get them all home safely.
But we live in a time when assumptions and fabrications have become preferred truth-tellers, and any published word from anyone will bypass the review stage, as long as enough “likes” validate the popular vote.
As we close out a noteworthy decade that fast and furiously overhauled the rules of engagement beyond repair, it’s hard not to wonder how much worse things are going to get before we can exhale with relief.
We’ve been programmed to over-share and over-indulge for the purpose of assuring visitors that we are indeed prospering in the land of the living,
But what happens when we suddenly die?
The well-manicured curation becomes a shrine for those who need to know more about the individuals who are no longer able to provide updates.
The Instagram stories that continued to depict the happy hours of the dead young women really freaked me the hell out.
And it was even crazier that the clips were added to the news stories about the car crash that killed them, as if it was relevant for readers to be aware of what led up to the devastating occurrence.
Will our Instagram page tell the truth or will it display the dated activities that represent how we wanted to be perceived?
We never really consider what our very last post will be.
We don’t concern ourselves with how eerie it will be if we documented good times and merriment, and then hours later, those snapshots take on a whole different meaning.
Perhaps, my cautious engagement that’s mainly restricted to editorial pursuits and hardly any hashtag-worthy moments will bore curious users, who visit my page to search for hints that could settle the mystery of my brief existence.
But for those who are in the prime of their lives, and rightfully have the desire to blissfully document the good times as they roll, the unexpected catastrophe that’s never predictable goes beyond the death announcement.
It can disrespectfully package what you’ve left behind based on what you left behind with the innocence of how it can’t be used against you, through the modern age of reportage, that relies heavily on salaciousness and the curated malice that’s never necessary or appropriate.
When status is active, we are in control, but when we are no more, our storybook is public domain, unless we opt for “private.”
The truth will always be found with our loved ones, and maybe we should seriously ponder why that’s more profound than the tools that were designed to distort our valued identifier.
Regardless of how and when we depart this world, there’s so much more to the story than the Insta-worthiness of what we’ve left behind.