Monday, November 25, 2013

Twitter Linked To Suicides

USA Today reported on a study that examines high-suicide states and their use of Twitter. The conclusion so far is that Midwestern and Western states – and Alaska – had a higher proportion of suicide-related tweeters than expected. Southern and Eastern states experienced the opposite trend.

So which states have the highest proportion of Twitter users suggesting greater suicide risk?

1.      Alaska
2.      New Mexico
3.      Idaho
4.      South Dakota
5.      Montana
6.      Utah
7.      Texas
8.      Kansas
9.      Arizona
10.  Oklahoma

Suicide talk on Twitter closely resembles actual suicide rates in many states, so the question is : Can we prevent suicides by reacting to certain tweets that we come across?

Maybe Twitter doesn’t cause suicide, nor can it necessarily prevent suicide, but it’s interesting to hear how researchers analyzed over 1.7 million tweets to draw their conclusions. I can’t imagine sifting through that many tweets.

Perhaps we should analyze a day of tweets from authors and publishers. I suspect we’d see a lot of tweets begging for attention, asking for people to buy a book. But in the process of reading these tweets, we may come up with a better way to use Twitter when hawking a book.

Twitter, like anything else, is a communications tool that has pros and cons, but if it can save a life, that would make it seem all the more valuable.

Book Excerpt: The Story of Your Life: Writing a Spiritual Autobiography- A step-by-Step Approach to Exploring Your Past and Understanding Your Present

“If we must fight, then let us fight poverty, disease, oppression, and natural disasters.
If we must hate, then let us hate war, violence, injustice, and persecution.
If we must kill, then let us kill bigotry, famine, pollution, and ignorance.”

Book Excerpt: Heaven on Earth: 15-Minute Miracles to Change The World
by: Danny Seo

“When you give a few minutes of your life each day to changing the world, your heart and soul open up. You find personal fulfillment. You gain self-worth. You learn valuable lesions that will help you succed in the workplace, with your family, and in your personal life. You become a compassionate person not because you aspire to be one, but because your natural capacity to be kind shines through. And you inspire those around you to make a difference, too.”

Book Excerpt: Ethics for the New Millennium
by: The Dala: Lama

“We have to live in the world we are helping to create. If we choose not to modify our behavior out of respect for others’ equal right to happiness and not to suffer, it will not be long before we begin to notice the negative consequences. Imagine the pollution of an extra two billion cars, for example.”

“What we find is that the more we develop concern for others’ well-being, the easier it becomes to act in others’ interests. As we become habituated to the effort required, so the struggle to
sustain it lessens. Eventually, it will become so second nature. But there are no shortcuts.”

“We find that when we look at a particular problem from close up, it tends to fill our whole field of vision and look enormous. If, however, we look at the same problem from a distance, automatically we will start to see it in relation to other things. This simple act makes a tremendous difference.”

“Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, not matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddah or God, or follow some other religion, or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.”

“It is also worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty. It is helpful to remember that nothing within the realm of what we commonly experience is permanent. All phenomena are subject to change and decay. But what is conceivable that a given act is ethically sound under one particular set of circumstances the same act at another time and place and under a different set of circumstances may not be.”

“What, though, are we to do when it comes to others? What are we to do when they seem clearly to be engaging in actions which we consider wrong? The first thing is to remember that unless we know down to the last detail the full range of circumstances, both internal and external, we can never be sufficiently clear enough about individual situations to be able to judge with complete certainty the moral content of others’ actions. Of course, there will be extreme situations when the negative character of others’ acts will be self-evident. But mostly this is not the case. This is why it is far more useful to be aware of a single shortcoming in ourselves than it is to be aware of a thousand in somebody else. For when the fault is our own, we are in a position to correct it. It also becomes apparent that our every action, our every deed, word, and thought, no matter how slight or inconsequential it may seem, has an implication not only for ourselves but for all others, too.”

“It is in everybody’s interest to do what leads to happiness and avoid that which leads to suffering. But because, as we have seen, our interests are inextricably linked, we are compelled to accept ethics as the indispensable interface between my desire to be happy and yours.”

“Because our negative thoughts and emotions do not exist independently of other phenomena, the very objects and events we come into contact with play a role in shaping our responses. There is thus nothing which does not have the potential to trigger them. The fact that the population of the rest of the world has an equal right to improve their standard of living is in some ways more important than the affluent being able to continue their lifestyle. If this is to be fulfilled without causing irredeemable violence to the natural world-with all the negative consequences for happiness that his would entail- the richer countries must set an example. The cost to the planet, and thus the cost to humanity, of ever-increasing standards of living is simply too great.”

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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