Recently there has been a lot of turmoil amongst social media users based on artists cancelling their concerts or wanting to abandon music all together because it damages their mental health. These artists have been receiving so much backlash simply because they want to put themselves first. Why do we live in a society where artists have to put their mental health at risk in order to please fans? I think a lot of people forget it’s called a mental ILLNESS for a reason, because here is a sense of uneasiness or discomfort associated with the word. You wouldn’t kick someone who has a fever down, why can’t society apply the same logic to people who live with mental illnesses.
If we take the example of Summer Walker who has social anxiety, we realise how inconsiderate and insensitive people are towards artists. She opened up about her mental illness to the world which was extremely difficult, not only that but she openly spoke about not being able to handle certain social situations, and what did she get in return? Backlash from people who are “supposedly” her fans, cyberbullying and many people simply saying; “we don’t believe you”. Living with social anxiety must be difficult enough already, but imagine giving up such an intimate detail about life to have it bite you back. You open up, people judge you, you keep your mental health private and people make assumptions, it’s almost as if you can never win in this world. People always have so much unsolicited advice for celebrities on how to compose themselves in order to make more money, meanwhile you are nowhere near as successful as they are.
This era is when social media is truly at its peak, but do you know what else is? Cyberbullying. Some people who barely use social media are so quick to jump on the hate bandwagon once they see someone slip up. The funniest part in all of this is that most times they might not even agree with why everyone is bullying a certain person but will still join out of spite or deeply rooted resentment. The worst part is that those same people will try to advocate about “checking up on people’s mental health”. Some people even go as far as
making websites which promote mental health awareness meanwhile they are bullies in real life, why is it so difficult for you to practice what you preach? The older I get the more I realise that people pick and choose not only who they support but when they support them as well, this literally goes against everything these people believe in. The bullying can get so bad people delete their social media accounts all together, why live in a world where you feel like others determine your boundaries?
It’s so important to stay true to who you are even when you feel pressure from others trying to sway your opinions in a certain direction. The worst part about cyberbullying is the fact that most times it is unprovoked. Some people take out their anger in healthy manners; boxing, writing or singing. Then you have a group of people who try to exercise a small amount of power via cyberbullying, these people have convinced themselves that the only way for them to have the upper hand in a situation is by verbal abuse. This is why it is so important to realise that not everything is a personal attack towards you; sometimes it comes from a place of resentment and unhappiness being expressed in a very unhealthy manner.