How did she do it? How did she control her late college boyfriend of eighteen months, using text messages, which eventually pushed him to killing himself? Her name is Inyoung You, a 21-year old South Korean former student of Boston College. Her late boyfriend and fellow student was Alexander Urtula, 22, who received, in a space of two months 47,000 text messages, many of which urged him to ‘go kill yourself,’ or ‘go die.’
47,000 text messages in two months translate to 758 messages daily, which further translates to 31 messages per hour. Did she not do any other thing? Did he not do any other thing? Was he just living to charge his phone to receive the messages? What kind of control was it? Was there something else apart from the phone? What was she doing nearby when eventually he leaped to his death on May 20, the day of his graduation from college?
A case of manslaughter has already been established against her but the questions will not go away. What are some factors that predisposed late Alexander to such manipulation and control? What kinds of conditions allowed the tendencies for such level of manipulation to fester in Inyoung? Did he have to read all 47,000 text messages? Was he under a spell? What are the early signs to notice in young people who are predisposed to becoming such victims, in terms of prey or predators? What kinds of expert help is readily available to handle such situations in our clime? How many people are interested in building capabilities to handle these kinds of challenges that are likely to take deeper roots in a technology-saturated culture, like we are almost becoming?