Internet Activist Dead at 26 | Daily Prompt

Internet Activist, a Creator of RSS, Is Dead at 26, Apparently a Suicide

I died long before then. As each day progressed, breathing became a chore. It became painful. It became an intentional choice that I had to make. Every inhale and every exhale. It was all too much.

I wonder what they will remember most. I remember nothing. All the things I’ve done, it means nothing. It feels like nothing.

I know some will make me a saint. That’s not the truth.

The truth is, I died a long time ago.

I’ve made my demons into idols and their glory is all that I can see.


Today’s prompt from The Daily Post was quite intriguing. Our instructions were as follows, “Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.”

A few things of note.

  1. I read the obituaries every day. It’s how I found out about Todd Skinner, which led me to virtually meeting some of his students.
  2. The reported story of Aaron Swartz can be found here.
  3. His headline jumped out because of his age. He was only 26.
  4. His headline jumped out because of his accomplishments. He was a prodigy that helped create RSS at the age of 14. I use my RSS feed almost everyday.
  5. His headline jumped out because he was depressed. I’ve struggled with depression in my past and I know a few people close to me who struggle with it too.  I once wrote, “A Perspective on Depression.
  6. His headline jumped out because he committed suicide. I’ve spoken at lengths regarding suicide prevention. Its an issue that’s dear to my heart. My best friend lost of baby sister of 15 years old to suicide. I don’t take this issue lightly.
  7. His headline jumped out because he was on a crusade to make information freely available. He wanted people to have access to knowledge and access to justice. I think that’s one of the many BIGGEST problems in the world. We’ve made knowledge and justice a commodity too and unless you have power, money or a name to drop, it can be difficult to access information if you don’t know any better.

For every Adam that may be reading this, I wish for today to be quiet, still and I hope you can just take a moment and breathe.

Just breathe. It really is the first step.


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