With the new documentary on the life and death of Caroline Flack, I wanted to write something on her death and the outpouring of grief that came from the media and public. When someone we all know, well or not, dies from suicide, it shocks us as human beings. We ask ourselves the question, why did they end their life and what could have been done to prevent it?
I have watched Caroline Flack over the years, her beauty and personality captured me. She had such a positive outlook on life and her laugh and smile could light up a room. Therefore, when someone that seems larger than life takes his or her own life it leaves a mark on so many. Was her death avoidable? Did the media have a part to play?
Looking at social media and articles, after the fact, was enthralling. There was an outpouring of grief, and rightly, so, a young life ended so needlessly. However, I ask myself the question, was it all too late? Did she know how loved she was, or was she loved as much by the public as people were portraying her? Celebrities posted in their droves to express their grief and shock. There was a show of support when she was in her time of need? Where was the long social media posts when she was in trouble? I can only assume they were non-existent due to the fact they did not want to damage their careers, considering the consequences. Is that good enough?
“If they had spoken out in support, would they be ridiculed for the fact they supported her? If they would only ‘be kind’, would it have saved her life?”
‘Be Kind’ was suddenly everywhere on social media. The masses of people adding the ‘Be Kind’ filter on their profile and that got me thinking. If you have to be told to ‘be kind’, does it defeat the purpose? I was told to ‘be kind’ as a child as much I was told to be polite or wash my hands.
“I was told constantly; ‘Manners costs nothing’. However ‘Being Kind’ it seems is free yet it can cost everything. It cost, not just Caroline Flack, but a lot of people the ultimate price; their lives“
Many had messages on Facebook to ‘be kind’ and these were genuinely good people I know. Although for me, the most baffling part is that some of those who are wearing the ‘Be Kind’ badges will troll and abuse local politicians and celebrities most days. So as I see it, from their perspective being kind is good for one and not the other. There is a difference between having your say on a subject and getting your point across without the constant online trolling and abuse. Online bullying is cowardice. You cannot choose who you bully. You can’t say it is okay to bully politicians or certain celebrities or anyone for that matter online no matter what your opinion. It disgusts me to see some of the comments and name-calling. If you followed people on the street like that you would be convicted of harassment. How she must have felt, or anyone that has been so low to take their own life has felt, is pain that is beyond my capability to describe.
“We cannot pick and choose who it is ‘acceptable’ to bully“
We continuously share stories of kids getting bullied online and we convey our anger at the situation but for many, it is hypocritical as adults can be far worse in my opinion. It has been over a year since Caroline Flack has lost her life and I ask myself the question have the media learned from her death? From what I have consumed in the last year it is evident they have not. It seems to me, what the public has learned from Caroline Flack’s death is to change their profile picture and share a quote with no substance behind it because a few minutes later they are back bullying and it’s business as usual.
Do you feel the media has learned from Caroline’s death? Have your say in the comments below
*If you have been affected by anything discussed in this blog, contact any of the numbers below.
Samaritans 116 123
Talk to Tom (0818) 303 061