Retrieved via Instagram @kehlani on 4/4/16
Retrieved via Instagram @kehlani on 4/4/16

 

If you’re like me, and the rest of the world— you’re probably connected to at least one of the many social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. The social media world allows users to connect and interact with people on various platforms and walks of life and circles including family, friends even with celebrities.

In the fast paced digital landscape, online users are able to get a bird’s eye view of their favorite celebs and stars’ lives. Many of these celebs share celebratory events as well as personal moments on their social media accounts. Some understand the publicity and marketing implications, while others don’t consider the implications of how this resource can be to their detriment.

Sharing one’s private life can be a blessing and a curse in just one post. While some followers love and admire how transparent celebrities are, others will use it as a tool to attack and tear down the individual when they don’t agree with their thoughts or actions.

Which brings me to: The infamous comment box!  

 It is used for exactly what it says—to comment. Followers share their thoughts and opinions on a photo or video posted on a particular social media site. But sometimes followers take it to the extreme and sound off on celebrities, resulting in cyber bullying. Comments range from remarks about their parenting skills, relationships, and career status, or sometimes even body image.

Stars such as Chris Brown, Bill Cosby, K. Michelle and others have been involved in public scandals; some even victimized by the digital audience.  Some social media attacks have caused public rants with social media followers; and even occasional total mental breakdowns. Most recently, singer Kehlani was admitted to the hospital after attempting suicide.  The 20-year-old singer posted on her Instagram page a final note before she deleted her account:

Today I wanted to leave this earth,” she wrote. “Being completely selfish for once. Never thought I’d get to such a low point. But… Don’t believe the blogs you read … No one was cheated on and I’m not a bad person… Everyone is hurt and everyone is in a place of misunderstanding. But as of today, I had no single wish to see tomorrow.. But God saved me for a reason, and for that… I must be grateful.. Cuz I’m not in heaven right now for a reason… On that note.. Bye Instagram.”

We understand celebrities at times put themselves in compromising situations by their own admission, and yes they have chosen to be in the public eye—but the question stands: Should followers have boundaries when commenting on a person’s page? Also: Do we have the right to assassinate one’s character because there’s a designated space to type in whatever comes to mind? If we consider the suicide attempt that Kehlani made possibly based off of social media attacks; should the naysayers be held accountable?

As responsible members of the digital society, we have to realize that no matter how much notoriety celebrities have, they are in fact, human like everyone else. They have feelings, families, and have to look themselves in the mirror each day. While constantly being scrutinized and sometimes ridiculed, this can be very challenging.

R&B singer Monica shared a post with her followers on Instagram entitled, “The Tongue of the Wise.” The first part stated: “It’s easy to see how words can be used like a weapon. We’ve all either been ‘cut’ by the words of others, or we’ve used words to put someone ‘in their place.’ The truth of the matter is that when we use words recklessly, we are not being wise. Scripture tells us that the tongue of the wise brings life and healing to others.”

In closing, let’s be a little more positive in the digital world and spread love, create more applause, and minimize those clap backs.

Written By: Tiffany Hercules

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