For years, we’ve heard studies that show the negative influence of too much TV. Now we see a real life example. Two 12-year-old girls in China committed suicide together, with the hope that they can cross-over time back to Qing Dynasty and shoot a movie with emperors at the time.
On March 1, 2012, a 5th grade girl named Hua turned her best friend Mei for help because she cannot find the remote control to the door of her house. What they decided to do? Leave letters to their families and commit suicide together.
“Dad and mom, sorry that I can no longer be your daughter because I’m leaving the world. Little brother, you need to take good care of dad and mom. My best friend Hua lost her family’s door remote control. She feared to be scolded back home and wanted to commit suicide. I’ve decided to go die with her. Dad and mom, worry not. Though Hua and I were not born on the same day, I wish to die on the same day with her. I have two secrets in my life. First is to cross-over time to Qing Dynasty and shoot a movie with Qing emperors. Another is to fly to the outer space.” Such goes the letter left by Mei.
“Dad, mom and sister, sorry that I have to leave you. Please keep good health. Though I fight with my sister a lot, I love my sister very much. I am so happy to have her in my life. I also often make mom angry, please allow me to say sorry. Sister, please take good care of dad and mom.” This is the letter left by Hua. According to local police, she even attached two rings to the letter as gift to her sister.
The two girls hid the letters in a DVD shelf at Hua’s home and jumped into a 2-meter deep pond together. When they were found, it was already too late.
None of the members from the two families has any clue why the tragedy happened. According to Mei’s mom, her daughter was a girl of her words and that is probably why when Mei said to commit suicide together with Hua, she kept her promise. And according to Hua’s sister, Hua was a perfectly normal girl, well-behaviored and having good relationships with family members. There was no reason to think of death only for a missing remote control.
To other people in the village, however, the back story was simple – they watched too much time cross-over TV dramas.
Indeed, time travel themed TV dramas and movies have been super popular in China in recent years. Most of them involve a girl travelling back to Qing Dynasty, falling in love with the emperor at the time and living happily ever after. (For more background, check out “Time travel in China, a concept that has been misunderstood”) Authorizes in China also tried to ban time-travel TV dramas and movies but they are still widely sought after (check Time article on “China Decides to Ban Time Travel”)
The story now is among the top hot topics on Sina Weibo. Not surprisingly, most netizens who read the news agree that the tragedy is, to some extent, the result of too much time cross-over TV.