Filming a heart attack: another new low in the social media age

PUBLISHED: 18:27 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:27 07 November 2018

People filming a man having a heart attack in a Belgian restuarant is a new low for social media, says Rachel Moore

People filming a man having a heart attack in a Belgian restuarant is a new low for social media, says Rachel Moore


What could be worse in this social media age than a crowd filming a man having a heart attack? Not much, says Rachel Moore

A crowd gathering to film a man through a restaurant window as he fought for his life after a heart attack is a new low.

About 25 people were outside the Belgian restaurant with their phones focused on attempts by police to revive the man using a portable defibrillator after he collapsed dining with his wife.

The poor woman sobbed: “This just can’t be true. He’s lying there dying and they’re just filming it.”

His last few breaths and the drama to save him was heartbreak for her but it was potential clickbait to passers-by, dehumanised and desensitised by the race to be first, to ‘entertain’, shock and gain approval and status by likes and shares.

One of the police officers helping the man was so shocked by what he had witnessed he wrote a blog about how sensationalism and adrenaline was winning over civilisation; desperation for acceptance and garnering (false) admiration by winning film views had drowned compassion.

Humanity had stooped to new depths for him, and police officers have witnessed the deepest nadirs.

But I kind of understand why. Everyone thinks they’re a journalist now, broadcasting ‘news’ as it happens, photographing everything and anything and posting it for all to see.

Like the people who filmed police officers being beaten up rather than helping – thinking they are helping by producing ‘evidence’ – it’s all about the click bait, the views and the likes. We watch so much online, the lines between real and fake have become so blurred. That’s scary.

Potential to profit rather than any compunction to help is the driver for disaster tourists. They afford their prize victims no dignity and respect as they watch others’ misfortune playing out on the screen of their iPhones.

This is far more macabre and disturbing than rubberneckers nosing into the aftermath of car crashes

This is all about obsession with what we show, rather than who we really are.

Trying to impress with dangerous selfies has killed 250 people. Sons and daughters, sisters and brothers literally dying for the perfect photograph, to present an image. It’s madness.Instagram and other social media offer everyone the chance to be who and what they want to be – a videographer recording a life-or-death situation, an intrepid explorer balanced on the edge of a cliff, an exclusive diner in the latest swish restaurant sampling international delicacies.

Such is the mind-addling power of the photo, social media is driving the consumer market, making and breaking businesses, putting restaurants out of business.

Diners seeking to impress by eating at the “right’ restaurants have contributed to the collapse of more restaurant businesses in the first nine months of this year than the entire 2017, with 1,123 restaurant insolvencies so far this year and many more in trouble.

The smartphone gives people a false sense of power an importance, of being in control with how a situation is viewed rather than the situation itself.

It’s a false filtered world of what we want people to think we are but, gullible and naïve as we are, we’re sucked in to this posed, opportunist and amoral world, from which an escape is impossible..

And the obsession with presenting this image is driving people to take up to 200 photos of themselves a day to get the right one to post.

Filming a beating or a death shows how social media has sucked the humanity out of us.

We need a way to bring back honesty and decency. Sadly neither attribute has it natural resting place in social media.


As a mother of two boys and a fervent parent complainer, I’d be rallying the troops to protest at Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy, Belton.

Banning children from playing football and letting off energy before the school bell is inhumane.

It’s also making trouble for themselves because boys – and it is mainly boys – find sitting still in class torture. They are like coiled springs, pocket fireworks about to go off without exercise before the bell.

Without early-morning kick-abouts to let off steam before multiple division, they’re bouncy, fidgety and can’t concentrate., causing the teachers a nightmare.

They must be cursing the ban too, announced to parents in a letter, telling them they must not arrive at school early, unless they are booked into Breakfast Club.

But parents have only got themselves to blame for the order that they must stay away from school until the doors open at 8.40am, and that “unsupervised’ football on the school premises must no longer happen.

Health and safety, guv. If no-one is supervising the children and there’s an accident, the school is liable. That’s expensive.

Parents’ records nationwide for claiming compensation from as quick as you can shout where’s the Savlon, and the haste to blame it for any mishap, gives schools little option.

I’m sure they would love children to be outside playing football before lessons rather than glazed eyes after early-morning killing fields on their consoles.

But parents that cry foul and seek compensation have spoiled that fun rather than working sensibility to encourage them to act responsibly.

Schools are not unpaid early-morning childminders, so the parents who are upset could volunteer to supervise football on the nearby park before school themselves.

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