Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How Online Reactions to Lil' Chris' Death Reveal Deeper Issues

Lil' Chris is a former child celebrity that made it big then faded from showbiz (against his will by the look of his Twitter) and kept trying and trying to make it back in. He tweeted about his struggle with depression and how he would never make it big and how he should just give up. He was only 24. Though the official cause of death hasn't been released yet, there have been rumours of suicide and it seems likely.

His last tweet was this:

Which is a pretty nice final word for the internet.

Obviously the internet went crazy. UNILAD (not known for being the most serious journalism ever) posted:

Former British child star Lil Chris has been found dead at the very young age of 24. The cause of death is currently unknown. RIP.

And their followers' reactions were pretty disgusting to be honest. Such thoughtless and spiteful words from people over the death of a young man working hard to achieve his dreams but ultimately being defeated by depression (maybe). As of right now there are 4,000 comments on their post. Thankfully the top comments are all about others being disrespectful and RIP. But delve a little deeper and the worst side of humanity is out in full force, such as:

Blake Robinson

Jack Matthews I'll take a guess it was probably drug related or he finally got round to listening to his album

Sam Whittle In other news, 150 died in a plane crash today..

Kayleigh Horner Right so over 100 people died in a plane accident today and just because lil Chris was famous you all care more! You all need to get your priorities straight! Many people die from suicide everyday, yous don't care about that!!! Society is f***ed up these days!!!!!!

That's just a few samples of many in the same vein. Apart from the obvious heartlessness of the comments I think they reveal a bit about certain problems within society. There was probably a time before the internet when if someone died there was some kind of respect and reverence around the death to ensure the family weren't expected to deal with the grief and anyone's negativity.

The comments making jokes about his album seem to be trying to degrade any kind of success he may have had - why? It doesn't achieve anything. Surely we should be promoting young people in particular to strive to achieve their dreams? A lesson to be learned here would probably just enforce that listening to keyboard warriors is a waste of time.

The people talking about the plane crash don't seem to realise that it's possible to be aware of two tragic incidents within the same day. Before I heard about Lil' Chris I knew about the plane crash from Reddit. Just because two bad things have happened doesn't mean one has to be ranked as "more tragic" than the other, or people have to choose a side to be sorry for. It's all tragic, it's all sad. We should all take a moment to appreciate everything that has happened today and be a little bit more grateful for the people around us that we love and realise that life is too short. The only thing correct I can see within these comments is "Society is f***ed up these days" but not for the reasons the commenter suggests. I think it's declining because of a general selfishness and a lack of empathy for anyone else. Especially on the internet when it's so easy to spout hate. 

Though Lil' Chris is dead his family are still around and while they're having to process the death of a loved one who passed away well before his time, I saw one commenter say that "Well, Lil' Chris didn't think about his family when he killed himself" and I think this comment sums the complete hypocrisy and ignorance of all the hatred spewed online today. No one thinks of other people when they tap words onto the screen and send it for everyone to see, because they don't care. If everyone started caring a bit more maybe the internet could become a less toxic place. Until then, I hope anyone who knew Lil' Chris retains their dignity and there are no backlashes from these intolerable people without any sympathy or morals to even see how they are in the wrong.