At just 27 years old, Lauren Carr was pronounced dead Tuesday after a short-lived battle with activism fatigue. She contracted the disease after adding a series of informative carousels to her Instagram story.
Carr was watching TV on the couch with her roommate, Cameron Whitman, when she began showing signs of exhaustion.
“Lauren started complaining about a headache, saying she was tired and dizzy,” Whitman said. “She kept muttering something about ‘burning out’ and ‘taking time for self-care.’”
As soon as Whitman checked Carr’s Instagram story, he suspected it was a case of activism fatigue.
“When I saw she reposted infographics about defunding the police, a change.org petition, and the school to prison pipeline, I knew I had to get her to a hospital, and fast.”
Although it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which repost led to Carr’s death, doctors speculate it was the final infographic that pushed her fatigue into terminal territory.
“We sometimes see this in our white, wealthy patients after they give a shit about systemic oppression for longer than one or two Instagram stories,” said activism fatigue specialist, Dr. Amy Robinson. “In layman’s terms, they experience what might be called ‘discomfort.’”
Experts say it’s easy to forget to take a moment for self-care and meditation in the process of posting, which can be overwhelming for some rich people who have never struggled under a system that favors the wealthy few.
“Hitting send isn’t doing itself! So don’t forget to take a moment to relax and recharge each time you press two buttons.” reminds Dr. Robinson. “Reach out to a friend. Drink a glass of water. Spend a day at the spa. Go on a weeklong vacation to Hawaii where your family owns a vacation home on indigenous land. Whatever you need to keep putting in the work.”
Carr previously had a close brush with the ailment when she attended one single protest.
“I think on top of the stressors of Lauren’s daily life, the chanting and sign-holding just kind of pushed her over the edge,” remembered Carr’s friend Jaime Wallis. ”She got shaky, and I could tell she was burning out in real time.”
Worried Carr would faint, Wallis rushed her to an open brunch spot and began administering mimosas. After a couple glasses and a revitalizing eggs benedict, she was back and able to join the crowd for a few quick photos.
“Despite everything, we ended up getting some pretty good pictures that day,” chuckled Wallis. “But that was just the kind of person Lauren was, always ready to get back up and fight another 10 minutes or so.”
“I’ll miss that about her,” Wallis added. “But at least now she’s a true martyr in the fight for justice.”
Sources report she is not.