Well-known 29-year-old YouTube gamer and internet star Etika was found dead on Monday, June 24th. The New York City Police Department confirmed the death to magazine US Weekly.
Etika, whose real name is Daniel Desmond Amofah, was last here from by phone on Wednesday, June 19th, just a few days before his body was discovered. The New York Post confirmed, by way of the NYPD, that the young man's body was found in the East River. The location was near South Street Seaport, at the time of approximately 6:20 pm on Monday.
Etika was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene, but the police were not able to identify him until they had notified his family. Days earlier, a backpack containing personal items such as cellphone, Nintendo Switch gaming system, and an ID had been found on the Manhattan Bridge.
Shortly before his disappearance, Etika posted what some termed a troublesome video on his YouTube channel, in which he seemed to be expressing suicidal thoughts. The since-deleted video sparked concern amongst his many fans, as he stated:
“I’m sorry for leaving such a stained legacy. I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube a better place in the future were people know boundaries and limits and how far things should go.”
Etika had hundreds of thousands of followers on both YouTube and social media. In the video he posted before his disappearance, he described himself as "mentally ill." He also stated that he hoped his story would advise caution on what too much of social media can do to you. He warned that if you allow it to, it will give you a false image of what your life should be like, and then blow it all out of proportion, consuming you in the end.
For a while now, we have been hearing from psychologists as to just how damaging and detrimental social media, such as YouTube, can be on a growing child. Those who allow such internet sites to take over their lives, and dictate their choices, are in the end cause so much harm, that lives are irreversibly affected—such as this young man.
However, in a world that continually grows to depend on the internet, and those sites that are available there, the problem will only continue to get worse, rather than better.
At this time, the official cause of death is unknown and is still being determined.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Did the online social media, and all the drama that goes with it, drive this young man to suicide?