If you've ever thought to yourself: "I wish people would take less responsibility," I have good news for you: pedestrians and murder victims are now using twitter and other social networking sites to broadcast messages of despair in lieu of simply calling 911. To be fair, I think the idea of creating a buzz about your imminent rape on facebook is much more entertaining than simply begging for help. I'm glad people are showing more self-control in their lives -- desperation is unsexy.
According to an article on CNN.com, here's how it works: A man witnesses a woman being assaulted on a street corner. Rather than break up the fight himself or call the police, he simply tweets: "Need police/ambulance on corner of Jefferson and Lincoln." Let's hope that he's following the local 911 dispatch on twitter or that someone chooses to retweet that message and not his thoughts on cheese sandwiches.
I see benefits to this new version of good samaritanism: 1) you can avoid confrontation and unpleasant conversations with rapists/muggers and 2) you can simply tweet about the problem and still make it on time to catch the 8PM showing of Arthur. By the time the movie ends, the woman who you witnessed being murdered may have received help, but if she didn't, you can't blame yourself -- you already tweeted about it. What more can be asked of you? Besides, you're too tired from laughing at Russell Brand's antics for two hours to even care.
If you're still confused, here's an example of social media-as-crime-fighter in action:
At least we can point to a moment in time when humanity began its downfall: The remake of Arthur