First of all, condolences to the Flack family; both those close to her and those who looked up to her from afar. Condolences to all who have lost someone to mental health in their lives, an existential knockout blow that comes from nowhere. It can’t be seen, it can’t be heard but when it comes, you know. And condolences to anybody suffering at the moment because there’s not really much difference between the concept of death and depressions desires – emptiness, shallow thoughts, in what is almost an out-of-body-experience as you observe and over analyse yourself, overthinking every action in what is a slow breaking down of a person leaving an emotionless, empty, shell. Such is the complexity of the human brain, there is no guidebook to mental health, so I think it is unfair to be too critical in ones actions and responses; you can’t put your mind in a cast for 6 weeks and expect everything to be fine after. Mental health does smell better though. With THAT being said, Caroline Flack was a unique case, arguably being one of the closest to home to the younger generation as someone we have grown up with on our TV screens in our happiest years. It’s close to home man, it’s sad, Let’s Talk.
The famous old double edged sword. Both giveth and taketh in the modern world. We as a society probably wouldn’t be were we are if not the the advances made in the last 30 years. Entertainment truly has been changed. But was we really ready for it this quick? Personally for my generation, it felt like one day you’d spend your night hosting a gathering on Club Penguin then everyone woke up, had millions of followers on 6 different website and people were dying as a result of the massive emotional baggage that came with it. In 2020 you can have a cell mate that is only stealing the top bunk because he sent a racist tweet to a footballer to impress 3000 other people. It would just be an absolutely benign concept 10, 15 years ago.
1.9 million and 2.7 million followers on twitter and Instagram respectively. That Flack’s stats. I bet that she could have counted her real friends on one hand though. Humans have, throughout the history of time converged in small groups. Small, tight knit communities up until about 20 years ago. I don’t think it ever crossed Brutus The caveman’s mind about getting more people to like him so he can get a brand deal for them brand new rocks that was looking real good. It is absolutely normal that as humans we are unable to process the opinions of thousands of people online, it’s is absolutely normal that behaviour might turn erratics due to it. We are still in the infancy of social media, we’re still learning.
It’s naive to state that social media is the problem and not those using the internet in general. The problem is much deeper rooted than that and is one that lies with society. I’ve said it before the in order for people to understand repercussion of their effects on others than we need to start from the ground up in education. Depression.. anxiety.. words I didn’t hear well in to the back end of secondary school. I’ve been on the edge in my life through not knowing how to manage my emotions, but I’ve never wanted to kill myself because I wasn’t able to find the square root of X times 3. In all seriousness. Education. We need a change.
Social media websites need to have heavier policing for such instances. No tolerance. Get them out.
The 24/7 access must be draining too. One comment in person can have me overthinking for about 4 working days. I couldn’t imagine a constant barrage from millions of people when I wake up to when I sleep. Honestly, just be nice.
There is an obvious elephant in the room which I can’t help but debate over. Caroline flack should definitely be held accountable for the mistakes she made. Domestic abuse should not be taken lightly, in any case. Journalists, as controversial as the topic is at the moment, have a duty to report what they hear. However, what we saw from the usual suspects is not journalism, but sensationalism to the highest degree. The same papers after dragging her name through the mud during a trial that was inconclusive at the time are now calling her an inspiration. It is a journalists duty to inform. Inform only. What they do not have to do is squeeze every last inch of a story in order to dramatise events that they know will incite extra hate on top of the social media bubble. Just tell us the facts, it’s not a circus, it’s not funny, it’s domestic abuse. No photos, no dramatic headlines.
Essentially what I am trying to say is, do I think Caroline Flack was a bad person? I think she made a huge mistake, never my cup of tea, but I had no problem. I don’t think she is the woman the media painted her out to be though. This is the problems. They media controls narrative. There has to be some middle ground. It comes with a duty of care.
It’s a sad state of affairs. It didn’t have to end this way at all. But it did, and it will happen again. And the same conversations will happen. The same fake outrage. Caroline did not deserve what happened to her, and is a victim of modern entertainment and social tropes that come with it.
On the subject of mental health, like I say, there’s no handbook.
Stay close to the people you love,
Never buy the Sun.