The long and painful saga of the trial of Michelle Carter, charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the 2014 suicide death of her 18 year-old “boyfriend” Carter Roy III, is not completely finished. Not on a legal level, because Carter has yet to be sentenced – that will come later. And on a personal level, the case will in reality never be “finished” – not for the two families involved in this story of pathos and “progress” (i.e., technological.) Certainly not for several others affected by it, either.
For it is a fact that a collision of forces took place in this young man’s death: A combination of mental illness in the form of depression, of homicidal animus, and, yes, of moral decay within a society where the most intimate of relationships – including marriage – and now, yes, life itself- are ended by something called a smartphone. Yes, this case is an indictment and a conviction of one person – Michelle Carter – for the suicidal death of Conrad Roy III. But our society as a whole can be indicted here, as well: For reducing the value of human life and human interaction to something so shallow and cowardly as an electronic text. Continue reading