Following the tragic death of Caroline Flack, Letterkenny gym owner Emmet Rushe looks at his own experience of social media in this guide for everyone to T-H-I-N-K before you comment.

This past weekend has seen another tragedy.

The passing of Caroline Flack has once again shown us that the pressure of being in the public eye, along with the tabloids, the media and social media can become a drowning pool of pressure that some cannot escape from.

Anytime the media get hold of a story, whether it is true or not, they will run with it as that story will sell headlines.

They have been rightly blamed in the past for other celebrities who have died and have taken their own lives.

But, the past of all of this that we like to glaze over.

The part that we don’t like to think about ourselves is, we are also as much to blame as they are.

Social media has become the place where people like to judge.

Yes, the tabloids and media may start these stories and they should rightly be held to account for them.

But it is us, the public who then make them viral.

It is us the public who share the stories It is us the public who make the comment and make the memes.

It is us who suddenly become the virtuous.

If enough of us decide that what is being said is true and that the other person is in the wrong, then the mentality is, that we can say whatever we want without consequence or without any feeling towards the other person.

That is how social media and the online world works.

On the day that people were posting tributes to Caroline Flack and sharing messages of ‘Be kind’.

Others are attacking celebrities who worked with Caroline in the past, because they don’t think their tribute to her is sincere enough.

They are posting about being kind with one hand and attacking people with the other because only they know what is right.

This herd mentality is all too common now and you don’t have to look too far to find it.

Every day on social media I see a topic that is getting torn apart by the herd and it must stop.

Most don’t even understand the topics they are commenting on.

But they want to be relevant, so they chime in on the comments.

When it comes to topics online there is a simple rule.

T-H-I-N-K before you comment, share or post about something.

T – Is it True?
H – Is it Helpful?
I – Is it Inspiring?
N – Is it Necessary?
K – Is it Kind?

If it doesn’t pass that test, don’t comment.

You are just fuelling something that may or may not be true and we do not get to decide that.

Life is already difficult enough for people and having been through a social media backlash a few times myself, I can tell you right now, it does not matter how strong you are, it gets to you.

So, if you have posted ‘be kind’ over the past few days and are sharing posts in tribute to Caroline.

Please remember to do the same the next time you see a sensational story being shared around.

It could be the difference between someone making it through the day or not.


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