Once upon a time, when people witnessed a horrible accident unfold in front of them, all they would think about is a way to help out. 

Unfortunately, that's no longer the case in the age of mobile phones and social media, which many are now using to film such situations and post them online.

We asked victims of tragic accidents how they would've felt if people shared as well as viewed their most vulnerable moments. 

Here's what they told us: 

"These platforms can be used for so many other better things"

Speaking to StepFeed, Lara, a 29-year-old graphic designer based in Dubai, shared details of a traffic accident she got into over a year ago. 

"I got into a serious accident last year and it was the most terrifying thing I'd ever experienced in my life. I was on a Dubai highway when it occured, I can't even remember how it happened, it seemed like a flash, not even a second and I felt my car turning upside down," she said. 

Miraculously, Lara escaped the crash with minor injuries, but it took time for paramedics to get her out of the vehicle. She was still conscious at the time and though she was dazed, it struck her to see several people using their mobile phones to take photos and videos of her car.

"I was in a daze, I felt nauseous and was truly horrified so I wasn't focusing on what was being said around me. I just remember a lot of noise, paramedics asking me a few questions and a few people trying to take videos of my car," she added.

When asked how it felt to have someone film her in that vulnerable situation, Lara explained: 

"To be honest, at the time I couldn't feel anything. I even forgot that people filmed my accident. But a few days later, one of my friends got a photo of my crashed car on a messaging app, apparently it was circulating on there. 

"To be honest, it really got to me. I mean that was one of the worst days of my life. It felt like such an invasion of my privacy and rights as a human being. They were passersby, people who happened to be there and while some of them tried to help, others chose to film the misery I was in." 

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Images of Lara's accident didn't go viral on Twitter or Facebook at the time of the incident, however, she is unsure if people uploaded them online. When asked how she would have felt if they actually were circulated on social media, she said: 

"That would have been even more disturbing. Any accident can be life threatening and for people to choose to film and post about that on social media, rather than try to do something or just simply respect a human being's privacy, is despicable. This shouldn't be the way things happen, these platforms can be used for so many other better things, they weren't meant to harm people this way."

"We were worried that someone was stuck in there while people filmed that fire"

Salem, a 34-year-old business manager who has lived in the UAE for over six years, also weighed in on the matter, sharing a personal experience that left him shocked. 

"A few months ago, there was a fire in my building, it's not a huge tower, just an apartment block. I wasn't there at the time but rushed back home after my wife called me," he said. 

"Firefighters were already at the scene. We were all shaken, trying to make sure everyone was safe, including our families and children. So many people tried to help out, handing residents of the building water and towels but others simply stood out there or on nearby balconies and I could see them holding their phones up. We were worried that someone was stuck in there while people filmed that fire," he added. 

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Salem was angered by the fact that some people were taking photos and videos of the scene and when asked if anyone had shared them online he said: 

"I am thankful that no footage of the scene went viral online, I think people might have been filming to share with their friends or families via messaging apps, but that's still not the right thing to do," he explained. 

In response to our question on how he would have felt had the videos been shared and viewed more widely on social media, he said: 

"I would've been incredibly upset and I honestly would have taken legal action if that were to happen. It's simply unacceptable to film people without their consent, no matter what the situation, let alone when they're at their most vulnerable." 

"I would be outraged if someone filmed an accident I was in"

In a statement to StepFeed, Omar, a 30-year-old marketing manager based in Dubai, shared an incident he witnessed earlier last year. 

"Me and my friend were each driving our own cars heading to an outing, his vehicle was just 2-3 meters ahead of mine when I saw it spin out of control and hit a light pole. It was the most terrifying moment of my life," he explained. 

"From my car, I saw people stop their own vehicles and others dial emergency services. I got out of my car and tried to get close but there were just too many people crowding the area. I must say that the majority were actually trying to help, but there were a few who were filming with their mobiles. When emergency services arrived and tended to my friend, who was severely injured, I remember shouting at a man who was trying to film paramedics as they got him into an ambulance. It was absurd," he added.

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Footage of the incident didn't make it on Facebook or Twitter and Omar believes it is because he and several others asked people to stop filming.

"I can't remember all the details because it was all so chaotic, but I recall that me and several others told those who were filming to respect my friend's privacy, one man also told them that what they were doing is illegal," he said.

"To this day, my friend still struggles to talk about the incident, imagine how it would've felt to see footage of it online? I ask people who do film such incidents, to think of how the families of these victims would feel if they saw these posts online. Is going viral worth it? No. Is showing these images and videos off to friends 'cool'? No. They know it's not the right thing to do, no one would want it done to them, so why keep on filming?" he added.

Always remember to #PostWisely

The time we live in now is a strange one. A time governed by social media. A time where people are consumed by getting likes, shares, and fans in pursuit of making their social media profiles more interesting.

Unfortunately, this has led to a trend and a pattern of behavior that is irresponsible and shocking. In order to boost their online presence, people have started posting videos and photos of accidents, fights, and other unfortunate incidents, online.

We therefore urge you, the next time you chance upon someone who is in an unfortunate situation, however big or small, ask yourself first, if it was your pain, would you share it? #PostWisely