In the final moments of Océane's life, these were some of the messages she received from humanity: "Show us your tits." "Retard." "Will you marry me?" "Kill yourself." At 4:29pm on May 10, 2016, the French 18-year-old threw herself under a passing train, live-streaming her death on Periscope. In doing so, she became the first person to broadcast their suicide live on social media, the Guardian reports in a thought-provoking piece by novelist Rana Dasgupta. Dasgupta addresses Océane's suicide in terms of modern celebrity ("For, as all true celebrities discover, the media image feeds parasitically on human energy, starving them and removing them, slowly, from the realm of the living") and terrorism ("Océane’s death was also intended as a kind of detonation, which would 'take out' others apart from herself").
But first Dasgupta addresses Océane herself. She lived in a bleak Parisian suburb where unemployment and youthful malaise are rampant. "People are very very very very stupid around here," she said of her home. She didn't like her father and professed to hate social media (despite having multiple Twitter accounts). She dedicated herself professionally to helping others but admitted, after alleged abuse by an ex, "I’ve got to the stage where nothing can make me happy anymore." Dasgupta found that "in so many respects, Océane seemed entirely normal, and I sensed that her online exploit, too, would become more customary over time." Tragically, the years following her death have borne that out. Read the full story here.