Recently I read an article that said how the recent flood of crying selfies/videos that all of a sudden flooded social media platforms serves the purpose of destigmatizing mental health. A person cries and then snaps a video, shares their vulnerability with his or her followers, showing that he/she too, is a person with everyday struggles, sorrows, and bad days, and in that way, connects more with their audience.
There is a truth to that claim, but I couldn’t help but wonder, isn’t vulnerability becoming another marketing tool, not necessarily wittingly, but maybe on a more subconscious level? Isn’t it too exhibitionistic? And is it really helping people struggling with mental illnesses or is it a literal cry for attention?
Social media gives us the opportunity to watch other people’s lives as if they’re scripted reality shows, and I think that we all sometimes forget that on both sides of accounts are actually real persons.
For me, grief, and distress are highly private emotions, and I do not prefer sharing them with a great audience. They are reserved for a close circle of people who also have the privilege to get the best of me on a sunny summer afternoon.
And although I am in no position, nor do I want to order people how to handle their grief for example losing a loved one, or a pet, or just frustration about a really bad day, I find it triggering and bizarre in a way.
If we are so comfortable and understanding when keeping our love lives private, why are we praising sharing the last moments of our loved ones online?