Internet-Addicted Mom Chats Online While Son Lay Dead for 24 Hours

computerMost moms know the powerful pull of the Internet. Amidst negotiating sibling squabbles and cleaning up bodily fluids all day, it provides a brief escape to catch up on life elsewhere or vent on Facebook. But for some parents, the pull becomes too powerful, dangerous even, which a recent, horrific case illustrates.

Last week, 29-year-old Yumiko Takahashi was arrested in connection with the death of her 19-month-old son, Neo, who was found dead last year. Police say he was dead in their apartment for nearly 24 hours while his mother was on Internet chat rooms.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the mother knew the boy had a fever when she put him to bed on July 24, but she didn't tend to his needs or even change his diaper. Instead she was on the computer chatting away, while the boy was dying just feet from her. A childcare worker eventually found his body.


She admitted that this happened to police, according to reports, and was even quoted as saying, "Child raising is too much hassle."

It's absolutely abominable; the kind of story that makes you shake with rage and wonder what kind of a monster could do this. But further details about the case evoke as much, if not more, sadness than anger.


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It seems Takahashi had already lost two children. Reports say she lost one shortly after birth, and another in a fall from a balcony. The toll that would take on anyone is unimaginable, and she was said to be chatting in grief support rooms. So it went beyond just her wanting to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip.

"I have sought solace in chatting on the Internet to get connected to other people for three years since I got depressed for losing my son in an accident," she told station NHK.

That certainly doesn't make what she did excusable in the least, but it does seem to indicate she was not well mentally. It, of course, also brings to mind questions as to what really happened in those previous cases, but mostly it just seems so unbearably sad that this woman who clearly needed help didn't get it, and that her poor, innocent son was the victim of such a strong Internet addiction and whatever demons plagued her.

Do you feel like the Internet distracts you more than it should from your children?


Image via Baddog_/Flickr

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