Sticks & Stones Might Still Break Our Bones, But Now The Words Are Killing Us

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I’ll start by saying that I had no real affinity for Caroline Flack. I rarely watch Strictly Come Dancing, have never watched Love Island, and only discovered who she was due to the press and social media coverage about her forthcoming assault trial.

But, because of my firsthand battles with the black dog, her back story and suicide profoundly affected me. It’s a tragedy that highlights once again our failings at recognising and understanding mental illness. And sadly, the negative stigma still prevails.

Allegedly, Caroline Flack fucked up. I’ve fucked up. EVERYONE. FUCKS. UP! The difference is that “normal” people like you and I aren’t under constant press scrutiny whenever we make a mistake. I don’t mean the normal newsworthy press but the shitty, hate-mongering tabloid press. The same shitty, hate-mongering tabloid press who, now she’s dead, is awash with heartfelt tributes. Arseholes.

My feelings about mental health issues and the vile conduct of those “journalists” aside, I should have avoided Twitter on Saturday. It rapidly became a stroke inducing cesspit. I tried to ignore the sea of bile, but one particularly repugnant tweet from “Joe” about Ms Flack was the final straw. From then on, it would never end well for me.

As I write, I’m three days into a seven day Twitter ban for one particularly “creative” tirade. Apparently, calling “Joe” a pathetic maladjusted cunt isn’t acceptable on Twitter. But “Joe” (writer of vile words about a young lady who only hours before had taken her own life) has had no sanctions placed on his literary works of art. And this, Mr Twitter, is why you’re as guilty as the tabloids for spreading hatred and lies.

In hindsight, I temporarily became part of the problem. I lost my head. I know I shouldn’t have reacted as I did because it fuelled the trolls’ fire. For Caroline’s sake, let’s just try to be a little kinder. The hate has to stop and we should all talk and listen to each other more. REALLY listen. By doing this, rather than ruin someone’s life, we might help save it instead.

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