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The price of anger and the dangerously deceptive net

Nov 12, 2010, 12:26 PM | Article By: Picture: Adelaide Mendy

I  can't begin to imagine the number of times I have heard (both in person and on electronic media) an individual say that there were times when they had been soo angry, so furious, so greatly incensed by something or someone that they had felt they were capable in that moment of doing just about anything to appease the feeling and had it not been for their strong will or divine intervention, they just might have succumbed to the feeling and done something they would regret immensely later? Well, that is certainly not a foreign concept to a lot of people. The human mind is a complex entity and emotions can be as erratic as lightning bolts.

In many parts of the world most notably the west, adverse emotion groups have been set up to help combat this condition, and individuals voluntarily attend or are required to by law. These sessions are known as anger management classes. Others secure the services of counselors, psychologists or therapists to help them control or quell such emotions. In Africa, this is a very rare practice as it is generally not our nature of tradition to confide something of quite a personal nature to complete strangers. However, it is a general belief that human emotions should be watched closely at all times because one erratic wrong move could quite possibly be your last or that of the other party. How tragic is that?

Just under a week ago, it was broadcasted on the international news that the body of a middle aged heiress was found in the woods and that they suspect that she had been murdered by her husband. How tragic was that? It got me thinking about what could have triggered someone to do something so terrible to someone they were supposed to love. Love and murder, two extremes with one similar factor, extreme emotion.

There have also been other widely documented incidents of such a nature both locally and internationally. Youths argue over games, the most notorious being football and fatalities occur. In other cases, harsh words are traded and fists fly or guns blast. It has been said that the mind acts on the nudging of the heart and the heart is most undeniably the centre of the emotional system. Crimes of this nature committed due to the inability of an individual to control their emotions are known as Crimes of Passion.

A crime of passion is better described as one where the perpetrator commits an injustice, especially assault or murder, against someone because of sudden strong impulse such as sudden rage or heartbreak rather than as a premeditated crime. A typical crime of passion might involve an aggressive bar frequenter assaulting another guest in the course of an argument or disagreement or a spouse who discovers his/her partner being unfaithful and reacts badly. Some people have been known and documented to brutally batter or even kill the partner and accomplice.

Such a crime of rage is also is also broadly referred to as an extreme case of temporary insanity. Over the decades, a lot of defendants have been handed lighter sentences because they had pleaded to temporary insanity. They have claimed that their crimes had not been pre-meditated (they had not planned it). The great question, does it make the perpetrator less guilty? Lives have been taken untimely and many have been left grieving, all because of one moment of unchecked emotion.

The internet is undeniably the greatest and most popular innovation of mankind. It has removed the boundaries on communication which was previously in place and has played a massive role in subsequent breakthroughs in all sectors ranging from trade to security. A recent poll has showed that the average youth spends over seventy-five percent of their time on the web whether surfing or on a social networking site where intimate details of ourselves are displayed on profiles. In recent years, the internet has been the place where a lot of couples have met and gone on to develop long lasting relationships.

However, this great innovation which has made life so much easier and opportunities so much more accessible has also been used to perpetrate horrendous acts, from the marketing of pornography to something just as extreme but with more lasting effects and consequences, Internet homicide.  What exactly is Internet homicide?

Internet homicide refers to a killing in which the victim and perpetrator met online, in some cases having known each other previously only through the Internet. Also Internet killer is an appellation found in media reports for a person who broadcasts the crime of murder online or who murders a victim met through the Internet. The first known murder of a victim met online was in 1996 Depending on the venue used, other terms used in the media are Internet chat room killer, Craigslist killer, Internet serial killer. Internet homicide can also be part of an Internet suicide pact or consensual homicide. Some commentators believe that reports on these homicides have overemphasized their connection to the Internet.

It is so much easier for criminals, especially perverts to plan and execute their gruesome acts and evade capture and justice in this day of improved technology. Offenders instigate contact with their selected victims (vulnerable individuals with probable insecurities) using social networking sites and chat rooms, only to lure them into their trap and in a lot of cases demise. Serial Killers (Serial killers are murderers who target three or more victims sequentially, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification) have been know to target their victims via the net.

So the very next time you are at a point where it is probable that you might do something that you might most probably regret, please take a deep breath and think it over carefully. If that doesn't provide the desired results, then find a patient trusted individual (or independent party like a Minister of the Faith, a school counselor or work therapist) and talk it over. Ask yourself this question; is a moment of insanity worth a lifetime of misery and self loathing? Also, be very wary of the kind of information you display on the internet and the kind of contacts you make. The 'friends' you make should be the ones you keep and not the ones that leave you gasping, and not for joy.