An absolutely horrible train crash, resulting in the deaths of around 80 people, happened in Spain recently. The train's driver, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, has been arrested on the account that the train was going twice the legal speed limit while going through a tight bend. When he called emergency services, Garzon reportedly said: "I should have been going at 50 mph and I am going at 118. Let's hope there aren't any dead."
A few months prior to the crash, Garzon reportedly posted a picture to Facebook of a train speedometer at 124 mph, writing: "I'm at the limit and I can't go any faster or they will give me a fine." Garzon also allegedly wrote: "What a blast it would be to go parallel with the Guardia Civil [Spanish police] and go past them triggering the radar. Haha what a fine for Renfe [Spanish rail operator] haha."
Wow. Did Garzon truly think he was invincible, or was he just trying to be a badass on some dumb social media site? Or both?
So many people today get busted for things they write, or wrote, on Facebook. It's a strange phenomenon, being that, um, they're putting what they're doing/did in writing. It doesn't get much more incriminating than that. But I honestly think that, in the moment, they really don't care. Most people write on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram to remind the world that they exist, and doggone it, they're awesome! Why else would Garzon upload such idiocy for all the world to see? It's not like he was doing it for input or advice. He thought he was a badass, speeding around recklessly, and he hoped others would, too.
But what Garzon, and so many others, sadly don't realize is that: He's not making as big an impact as he thinks. In other words, people just scroll past his status or photo, maybe like it, and then move on, not giving it a second thought. I'm venturing to guess that one of the impetuses for Garzon to go so fast was so that he could upload it to Facebook for others to see. And they saw and moved on. And now 80 people are dead.
There are some wonderful things about social media, but I truly think it's turning our society into a much worse place, filled with people who do really strange, really bad things. Most people can't handle it. They either put too much stock into it or don't give much thought as to what they're putting out there into the world.
I don't doubt for a second that Garzon feels awful for what happened. But I hope he realizes how meaningless social media is, and how, maybe -- maybe -- if he hadn't cared so much about what his "friends" thought, this wouldn't have happened.
That won't bring the 70-something people who died back to life. But I suppose, on some level, it's a step in the right direction for him.
What do you think of this?
Image via CBS