I was deeply saddened by the news of the death of Love Island star, Sophie Gradon, and when I read the latest news that her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong had also been found dead. I just had to write something.
Firstly, anyone who knows me, will know I am MASSIVE Love Island fan. I love watching people, be it on reality TV, or sitting watching the world go by with a coffee. These programs offer insight and of course entertainment. When I read that Sophie had been deeply affected by social media trolling, I began to wonder how social media impacts on a person’s mental wellbeing.
I obviously don’t know the ins and outs of why these two beautiful lives have ended, but what I do know, is that they shouldn’t have. Two young people with a world and life in front of them. It’s just absolutely tragic for all involved.
As a user of social media, and a Mother, I’m interested to understand the impact of social media interactions and how these impact on a persons well-being, and I guess how we can use social media in perhaps more positive ways.
I recently had a client, who runs a small business. This person was so affected by a customer’s negative review on Facebook, he immediately felt depressed. We worked together to make sense of what the customer was stating. Which in fact wasn’t true. However, this had triggered a belief about himself that he wasn’t good enough. Despite 3000 positive reviews, this one had cut him deeply, and was impacting his business, his relations with staff members and also his life at home with family. One negative review tipped a belief that could have easily have sent him to spiral into a depression. Thankfully we worked using CBT to help this client see this review wasn’t a reflection of him as a human being, and the client has a new tool in his tool box to fight off negative thoughts associated with negative interactions.
If you look at Sophie’s social media before her death, she looked to be having the time of her life, success, in love and enjoying life.
One comment can be the one to tip someone over the edge.
We need to be mindful of how we engage with others and also with ourselves. How much are you going to absorb and allow others to shape how you think and feel about yourself?
Dark thoughts may come and go. They are just thoughts, one of the 70,000 we have each day. If you need to talk to someone about these thoughts, or you feel suicidal PLEASE REACH OUT TO SOMEONE. The Samaritans are an amazing organization and they are only ever a phone call away.
Be kind to each other. Lift each other up, and if you don’t like someone, ask yourself who benefits from a negative comment. Is it to uplift, grow and learn, or is to take someone down?
RIP Sophie and Aaaron. May the loss of your lives be a lesson to us all.