Here's the deal. Our actions speak louder than words, but our captions and posts on social media speak the loudest of them all. Social media brings out the boldest, most uncensored version of our true selves. For some reason, we feel like we are invincible on the internet and free from consequences because it is like an alternate reality.
This simply isn't true. I am grateful that my parents knew this all too well and prevented me from logging onto social media until I was completely aware of the permanency of the internet.
You may be asking what the big deal about all this is, but why explain when I can just show you? The link and the cover picture in this article is a post from actor Brandon Flynn's Instagram on November 6, 2015. You might be familiar with the name ever since he rose to fame playing the role of "Justin Foley" from the new popular Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why." The caption was: "At dinner with the fam #familystyle #playwrights."
From looking at him, Brandon Flynn seems like a nice guy and we all make mistakes, but this post crosses a line. I understand that some people find this type of humor funny, but this content can be triggering for those who suffer with their mental health on a daily basis.
Suicide and depression are serious and should not be made light of with degrading posts such as this one, which goes against the overarching purpose of "13 Reasons Why." The story of Hannah Baker is one of a girl who was harassed by her classmates, took her own life, and left tapes behind to explain why she did it. Many critics of the show say that the story encourages the act of suicide, but the overarching message that the audience has to understand is that actions have a greater impact than expected.
Brandon Flynn should have considered how the action of posting this picture could have impacted his followers, even if he was not famous at the time. Of course, there is a lot more going on in everyone's lives and there could be more to the post than what it seems, but Netflix should do more research on the history and social media of their actors and actresses.
Mental health is a serious issue, and should not be advertised differently. It can be easy to criticize and point fingers, but we all could spend a couple moments cleansing our social media of any posts that misrepresent what we believe in. Whether it was an old post that you wrote when you were younger, or a explicit rant, clean it up and keep it that way. Through this tiny action, we all can make this world a more positive and encouraging place.