Here in the UK, Television presenter Caroline Flack took her own life, after being publicly hounded by the tabloid newspapers. She was about to be prosecuted for an alleged assault on her boyfriend.
No-one knows the facts, no-one knows what actually happened that night. The British newspapers took it upon themselves to act as judge, jury and executioner, they showed very little regard for Caroline’s wellbeing or state of mind. In an unpublished draft from her instagram page that her family released today, she mentioned how her life had been swept off her feet, she no longer had a voice or a chance to defend herself. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like. Where the only escape route from this witch hunt is to end it.
There’s talk about ‘Caroline’s Law’, a view to end this mistreatment of people who are in the public eye. Is it too late for reactionary laws? How many people have to take their own life before something is done?
There’s now a t-shirt being sold with a quote from one of her instagram posts.
Don’t get me wrong, the more exposure that suicide prevention gets, the more money raised to help people who think that this is the only way out can only be a good thing.
However, we must identify the root cause.
I don’t think anyone can argue that the tabloid press is rotten to the core. Putting profits before people. I get that as a business, they have to make money somehow. But there are other ways, literally any other way.
We are in the age of social media. There isn’t a bigger platform anywhere in the world, where you can influence the public more than on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The trouble is, that you have papers, journalists & influencers who will say something just to get attention. They probably don’t believe some of the stuff that they say, yet choose to say it because they know it’ll create a reaction. Their engagement has never been higher after a moment of controversy.
It’s how they make their money, maintain their profile and use their status to influence people around them. It takes a strong person to take a stand and not get sucked in.
Something that I believe it comes down to is individual expression, self confidence and inner peace.
Social media portrays this example of an ‘ideal body’ or ‘perfect lifestyle’. This is the standard to which we judge ourselves.
No-one comes close to what is being portrayed, it’s but a small snapshot of someone’s life, mostly exaggerated to make people think they’re perfect.
We must own our individuality, embrace authenticity on a wider scale, accept people for who they are and be kind.
Don’t believe what you see on social media. As with all portrayals of a utopian world, not is all as it seems.