A 53-year-old grandfather of three was found dead in his truck this week after he decided to end his life over a mounting fear of losing touch with his technologically savvy family.
The story of Xu Desheng is spread fast through social media networks in Taiwan and Japan today after his suicide note was released to the press.
In the letter, Xu, of Changhua City, says he loved his school-age grandchildren very much, as evident by his biweekly visits, but was unable to compete with smartphones for their affection.
Noting that they were always "too busy" with their electronic devices and computers to spend time with him, Xu tried to "get with the times" by teaching himself how to use a video chat app on his phone, but was unable to master it, and became increasingly dejected as a result.
"I’m useless at just about everything these days, whether it be computers or cellular phones," the greengrocer wrote in his letter. "I rarely buy anything new and there really isn’t much I can do. Going on living in this way is scarier than dying. Therefore I’ve made the decision to end my life."
Xu's body was found by police in the front seat of his pickup truck.
He had apparently consumed a large quantity of weed killer before lighting a container stuffed with coal and letting the smoke fill his vehicle.
In addition to his troubles with technology, Xu was also suffering from diabetes and was known to have a short temper.
He had recently divorced his second wife, whom he married shortly after his first wife's death a decade ago.
"It was too soon for him part from us like this, just too soon," Xu's son is quoted as saying.