After celebrity death tragedies we all say we need to be kinder – so why aren’t we doing it?

(Picture: REX/PA)

At the moment it feels like there isn’t a day goes by without some terrible news hitting us – whether it’s the recent death of Love Island star Mike Thalassitis or the tragic passing by suicide of The Prodigy’s Keith Flint.

As someone who has twice been in the grips of mental health issues so excrutiatingly grim that I tried to end my own life, I know how important it is for people to be kind and aware of what others must be going through.

There has been no confirmation at this stage of the cause of Mike’s death or the circumstances around it but the guy hadn’t even reached his 30s and it’s a devastating waste. No matter what the circumstances, people are sharing their emotions and coming together on social media to tell each other to ‘be kind to everyone’ and to ‘be aware that you never know what battles others are facing.’

These sentiments are so true and I am behind them 100%. Kind words saved my life in the darkest of hours and unkind words in my lowest times – usually through Twitter – almost pushed me over the edge.

However, it’s one thing expressing these sentiments when a notable name dies or when something awful happens in the news. But seeing them through is a different thing entirely.

I see too many accounts tweeting what sound like genuine wishes that everyone was nicer to each other in the world in the wake of a death. But two to three days later, these same people are ripping into each other in fandom wars, through cyber bullying, by calling other people names and by criticising anything from appearance to acting performances.

The sentiment of being kind to everyone as you never know the demons we face is one that crops up every time. So let’s actually see it through on the days when it isn’t actually hit home by a horrible loss.

How to be kinder to others on social media

It’s not always easy and we have all sent a mean or sarcastic tweet or post. But:

  • Re-read what you’re about to post and put yourself in the shoes of the other person.
  • Remember that everyone reacts to things differently and some may have thinner skin than others to criticism.
  • Is your criticism constructive or mean? If the latter, leave it. If the former, ensure it’s worded right.
  • Pay people compliments everty day – remember everyone is strong in battles we know nothing of.
  • Don’t be a d*ck. It’s a really simple rule. But stop hating on others.
  • If you disagree with someone, chat about it without resorting to insults. And accept and appreciate that there are different views.
  • If you are in a Twitter spat or an argument on an online forum, step back when it gets heated. Nobody walks away feeling good after it crosses a line.
  • Remind yourself of your own ‘be kind’ tweets and on days whether there is bad news or not and strive to see it through. And it will come back to you from others.
  • And, to quote everyone’s nan in the world – if you’ve nothing nice to say, then don’t say it at all. Someone might annoy you on Twitter or you might not like them – scroll past.

I remember the same tweets in the wake of Robin Williams’ death. But have we changed on social media? Some of us maybe but as a whole, it still remains vastly a toxic pit of nastiness, criticism and fighting – and something that can be emotionally exhausting to be a part of.

I find it hard enough as an adult with mental health struggles to operate on social media – I have to for work but not a day goes by when someone doesn’t tell me my article is sh*t, or comments on my appearance or just I’m just downright called a c*** because as a soaps editor, I have released a press story about a storyline a fan doesn’t like.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

Imagine being in the spotlight and facing that 30 to 300 times over. Imagine being a teenager and having to grow up in that world.

We all share the notion that the world needs to be a kinder place – and we all believe it, I’m sure – but let’s not forget the sentiment after the retweets have stopped and the news has quietened down.

You never know who your next kind word might save.


See also  Jonathan Cheban takes his mother Galina to lunch in Beverly Hills

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more