Back in August, I was browsing stray TikTok when I came across a video that surprised me. Gabi Hanna — the celebrity musician, YouTuber and TikToker — was filming herself speaking meaninglessly frankly about religion, claiming it was the second coming of Christ. I was, to put it mildly, confused. I rushed to her profile and found out that the video I saw on the For You page was one of the videos hundreds Hanna had posted in the past several days. Every video I watched was more disturbing than the last. At some point, even Hanna invited A stranger in her home, causing fans to worry about her safety. The consensus It was clear among viewers: Hanna was having a frenzy, and Tik Tok was on the receiving end.
This might not be the first time you’ve heard the name Gabbie Hanna. Hanna’s career was long and Complex, with the influencer starting on Vine before moving on to YouTube and eventually TikTok. Each platform brought with it its own frenzy. On her YouTube channel,Gaby Show“I faced a huge backlash after that Spread A classmate’s fatal drug overdose video. However, nothing has caused as much drama as her recent candor about her psychological struggles.
On March 6, Hanna announced that she has bipolar disorder. Since then, much of its content has revolved around breaking the stigma around mental illness and disability, a shift that mimics the actions of many other celebrities. Demi Lovato And the Selena Gomez They are just two examples of stars who have opened up to the public about their own mental struggles and how it affected their work and personal lives.
In the past, this was out of the question. For a long time it was considered Muharram Even thinking about talking about mental health, but now, the act of discussing it often celebrate. This shift in perspective has crept into social media. platforms now Claim Being “safe spaces” for individuals to work through mental struggles – but how much of a reality is that?
During the episode of Mad Hanna that was announced in August, fans had a variety of reactions. While some She tried to help Hanna by urging her to contact her family and call the police to request it Wellness checksMany chose instead to view her posts. Her comment sections were overflowing with inappropriate Jokes and sarcastic comments. None of these individuals bothered to acknowledge the fact that her behavior was likely out of her control. Instead, they saw it as a source of entertainment and even claimed it was counterfeit At a time when what she needed most was support.
She is not alone. Hanna’s case is just one example of a larger pattern that has been on social media for years. While platforms like Instagram and TikTok appear on a superficial level as safe spaces to talk about mental health, the reality is more bleak. For Kanye West, the downward spiral is complete Internet meme. Since the Western Bipolar Disorder diagnose In 2016, his social media activity became more volatile. Often times, he posts outright weird things Instagram or Twitteronly to delete it hours later.
In West’s case, much of his behavior was out of harm’s way. He was thirsty supporter, cheerleader, supporter Donald Trump is known to make incredibly inflammatory comments, such as his concept that slavery was in fact”Cucumber. Last week, he took to Twitter to announce That he would go “Death Rogue 3” on all Jews, a dangerous feeling in a world where anti-Semitism is rampant rise. His account was closed shortly thereafter, and that was the decision celebrate From the Internet in general, and rightly so. Even if West’s comments are just the product of a frenzy episode – they’re controversial conclusion As it is – hateful speech like this should never be excused.
Just as social media users have tapped into Hannah’s craze episode as the latest form of entertainment, the internet has turned Kanye West’s vortex into the latest punch set. Comment sections owns One of two things: Confused individuals who assume West is far from his rock band or dedicates himself to supporting and empowering the things he says — even when they are harmful. Both ignore the seriousness of West’s mental health, and instead use it as a source of entertainment.
It is one thing for a person to joke about their mental health. How they choose to handle it is entirely up to them. However, it is quite another thing for a person removed from the situation to start making fun of something with serious undertones. It doesn’t help anyone – including West and Hanna – joke about their erratic behavior. The person making the joke may taste a little gratification from the likes or comments they receive, but that comes at the cost of exacerbating a set of already out of control manic symptoms. As for the third individual in the situation – the one watching from a distance and struggling with his mental health – he is just angry. One person’s “harmless” joke about mental illness added to the growing stigma, and made another person feel bad. It begs the question: If joking about mental health doesn’t help anyone, why on earth would we do it?
Part of it likely stems from the fact that we tend to be so joke About things we don’t understand. It is easier to highlight something that seems intimidating or overwhelming than to face this misunderstanding. In the case of mental illness, watching someone display serious symptoms of anxiety, depression, or even mania can be incredibly stressful. People then turn to humor to help make sense of something beyond their own.
It is also important to acknowledge that Generation Z exists a favour To be funny in times of tragedies. Endless community events full Many have a sense of despair, so much so that young people nowadays are known to be relatively unfazed by new tragedies. For example, but not limited to: the fall of Hurricane Ian full The internet with videos and memes is spreading fast. The COVID-19 pandemic is quickly becoming joke on social media. Generation Z has even been known to turn the probability of the outbreak of World War III into an A common Tik Tok video. Humor remains a reliable coping mechanism for many, including myself.
However, that does not excuse the jokes about mental health. Social media cannot be the “safe space” you want if discussions of mental illness are met with a flurry of inappropriate memes. First of all, we need to show empathy. If someone is struggling in the online space – regardless of whether they are famous or not – they should not be the subject of the Internet’s next line. These are real people, with real feelings, going through something that not many people can begin to understand.
So, put the popcorn away, folks. It’s time to stop making a mental health scene.
Rebecca Smith of the Daily Arts Contributor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.