About 150 people kill themselves every day, according to statistics. Approximately 38,000 people will commit suicide this year. Manley loved numbers; his ‘efficiency index’ is still used by the NBA to grade players today.
Manley secretly spent more than a year creating a complicated website explaining the why, what, how, and when of his death. He planned for it to go live later on the day that he passed away. None of the people mentioned above worked so hard to give the world such detail about their passing.
Human communication has never seen such public suicide notes as in the time of Facebook. The notes can be seen by many people, and can never be deleted. This is a first in the history of communication.
Manley chose to be remembered for years by his site, instead of just a few lines in an obituary in an newspaper when he was too old to matter. He asked people a question on his website, which was separated into 34 categories and 44 subcategories: If you died, would you rather have a few line obit in a newspaper when you were older or be remembered for years by your site?
Communicating naturally is possible.
On the web, sharing death is not new. Manleys site might be unique in the scope and tone that it offers, which could be described as upbeat in some sections.
Young people used to meet on websites and chat rooms to talk about committing suicide, in the early days of the Internet. In some cases, they would make plans to do the act together.
Manley wrote about the pros and cons of different suicide methods online, although it is not known how many groups there have been over the years.
A 24-year-old Japanese man committed suicide live on a chat forum. As users of the forum debated if he should get help or not, some encouraging him and others encouraging him more, the man hanged himself on a horizontal rod. A photo of the man seemingly hanging dead surfaced online after his death.
A Florida teen had trained his webcam on himself as he lay dying in his bed after taking a overdose of drugs two years earlier. He had also posted a suicide note on his blog.
At the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Lawrence Calhoun is a psychologist professor. He believes that there are some understandable reasons why people would want to announce their death on the Internet.
CNN asked Ben original reason for people leaving notes on social media instead of just writing one note. He said that since young people have grown up using social media, that is what they consider normal communication with other people. Also, more people are likely to see a post on social media than would see a single hard-copy note, so maybe one reason to leave a suicide note on social media is to reach more people.
Manley is an old man (60 years old). He is not a digital native, and the web seems to work well for people like him. He loved spending many hours alone at his computer, analyzing numbers and data, and connecting with people who love the tiny details of sports statistics.
Over the years, Manley has gotten to know hundreds of readers via blog comments, and made many internet friends. He was surprised that there are still smart people around, considering how standards in education have declined. In his final blog post, Manley wrote that he had communicated with many readers over the years.