Social media can dull user emotions

Sep 12 • Opinion, Top Stories • 307

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s many of you may know, the world lost a very beautiful soul on Friday.

The world has been shocked by the sudden death of rapper Mac Miller.

His death has come as a shock after a slew of other celebrities, including Demi Lovato, have recently been hospitalized or even passed away due to apparent drug overdoses.

Miller, who was born in Pittsburgh, held a special place in many teens’ and young adults’ hearts. Many individuals have been fans of Miller for years because of his impressive lyricism and music.

There has even been a petition circulating around Facebook to change the Pittsburgh Penguins’ goal song to a song by Miller called “Party on Fifth Ave.” This petition struck me as interesting.

It got me thinking about just how different it must be in this new age of social media and technology to have setbacks as an influencer.

It also made me think about how people are starting to deal with grief differently.

This year has opened our eyes to many of the struggles that influencers and celebrities face these days.

We have seen deaths of icons, including Aretha Franklin, that have been plastered all over social media.

Social media has been used to spread false information about celebrity struggles, like we saw with Lovato’s recent relapse.

I feel as though social media has dulled us to the severity of these issues.

After Miller’s death, I saw countless posts of the same overused advice.

The posts always ended in the words “Make sure you check up on your string friends.”

These kinds of posts really rubbed me the wrong way for a few reasons.

First of all, I understand the meaning behind these posts. I know that the posts are just people trying to help and offer advice, but people need to realize that posting these kinds of things on social media is only half the battle.

Advising people to reach out to their friends who may be struggling, or even those who don’t seem to be, doesn’t solve the whole problem. Actually going out and doing it does.

I feel like everyone wants to play the hero on social media, but that kind of attitude and mindset can be dangerous.

Sure, posting these kinds of things may remind people to give their friends a call to check up on them, but I wish people would actually spend the time doing it.

In the time that it takes to write a Facebook status or compose a tweet, you could send a quick text to a friend to remind them that you care.

I think social media has given people a new way to cope with their emotions, and I personally do not find it very healthy.

I am no expert, nor do I claim to be, but I don’t think spending your time posting on social media about your feelings on a death is helpful. I think the only way you can really deal with that kind of thing is through talking to others.

Of all the recent deaths that people are talking about on social media, I haven’t actually heard anyone talk about them in the real world.

People are so quick to send out a tweet about a celebrity death on Twitter, but they never want to sit and have an actual conversation about it.

Maybe I am reading too much into things, but it makes me worried.

HARLEE BOEHM

boehm003@knights.gannon.edu

 

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