Whenever a celebrity death, like the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, happens, the cause of death spurs outrage, anger, and sadness. It brings people to the table for however long that celebrity’s name stays trending on social media. Once that name falls off, people get upset over the next trending topic and forget all about the energy they put into the previous one.
Trending Outrage Is A Real Issue On Social Media
This. Must. Stop. Depression is not a trending topic. It’s a painful reality. It’s not something that only affects celebrities. It affects normal people. Homeless people. People in high positions of power. In short, it affects… people.
During times like this, the suicide prevention hotline is shared like crazy. Sharing the suicide hotline is fine, but those with depression already know that number by heart. Do you know what would be better to share? Your time. Your empathy. Your compassion.
What’s The Point of Outrage?
Maybe I’m writing this out of anger that once again someone dies of suicide that has a following, and more people care about that one individual than those that died before them. Maybe I’m tired of reading about suicide in general because no one ever comes up with a solution.
Or maybe I’m tired of seeing outrage with no results. I’m tired of seeing “RIP ” and not seeing a follow-up “I’m donating x money to x cause” or “I’m working a shift on the suicide hotline to help the cause.” I’m seeing empty outrage. Outrage without any real motivation to do something about it.
I’m done. I’m tired of it. I’m doing something about it.
Don’t Get Outraged. Get Productive
This post is my way of taking a stand against empty outrage. People who get upset but don’t let their feelings drive them to make a change aren’t actually doing anything. Using a hashtag on social media doesn’t mean you take a stand with someone or a cause. It means you show up better in search results. That’s it.
To take a stand or to support a cause means you do something about it. You reach out to organizations and volunteer or offer support; you march on Capitol Hill to show that enough is enough. You don’t just throw a hashtag in your social media and say you are making a difference. You’re not; end of story.
How To Really Help?
They say that if you know someone with mental illness, reach out to them. I’m here to tell you that you may know someone who has a mental illness but is too scared to tell you. They might be hiding it. In that case, you tell everyone you love that you love them.
You are the sound of breathing on the other end of the phone call. The ‘…’ on the other end of the text. You are there. And you care. And sometimes caring on your part means sitting there not saying a word and just letting them cry or wrapping them up in a blanket and telling them it will be okay. They can win the battle and you are there to help them win it.
Let’s put an end to empty outrage culture. If you are going to let something upset then use those feelings to move you to do something about it. Otherwise, it’s wasted energy towards a worthy cause, and that’s the saddest part of all.