Logan Paul Politicized Suicide For Profit, But We Helped Give Him 'Hits'

Logan Paul Politicized Suicide For Profit, But We Helped Give Him 'Hits'

The question remains, how do we move forward?
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American YouTuber Logan Paul uploaded a video on Dec. 31, 2017 where he walked through the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, according to BBC News. The location is frequently used as a place where individuals commit suicide, and Paul decided to include a dead body in his video.

Paul later claimed in his Twitter apology that “I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet … I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.”

No one could have prevented Paul from going to the forest or uploading the video. However, he should have the sense to recognize that publishing the macabre footage, and then joking about a dead body, was deplorable.

If Paul genuinely wanted to raise awareness, and not merely raise the “hits” on his channel, he would have spoken about his experience rather than depict its gruesome nature. After reading his Twitter statement, where he said, “I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before” and that “I’m often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have”, it is clear that Paul missed the entire point of why people were upset by the video.

Rather than solely taking accountability for his actions — ones that would be wrong regardless of his popularity — Paul made the apology about sharing his accomplishments. Additionally, he reaffirmed what was likely already clear to those who follow him — he is someone that was told his entire life that he is “remarkable”, and unsurprisingly, he eventually believed it.

Paul is yet another instance of the politicization of social issues for the sake of profit, yet he is not the only one to blame. As consumers, we have the choice to close the tab on the video and then encourage others not to watch it. Even so, while considering that idea, I am reminded of the phrase “the personal is political”; a central topic in my recent academic course, Women’s Activism in the 1960s.

Yes, suicide typically occurs privately and involves those closest to the individual. However, given Japan’s high suicide rates, and how suicide affects families around the world, it must be addressed in a broader political context to eliminate the stigma, and also increase prevention.

Nonetheless, showing a suicide for his own profit overstepped boundaries that evidently, people did not think needed to be distinguished. The question then remains, how do we move forward?

Some people called for the end of Paul’s channel, citing its violation of YouTube's Community Guidelines. However, if YouTube removes him, some people will likely question potential censorship and how much control YouTube should have in determining the content that is uploaded by its many producers.

We should also consider other practical ways to ensure that Paul understands the severity of his actions. If you were a fan of Paul’s channel and have not done so already, unsubscribe from him and do not watch his future videos, if he uploads any. Do not give him the “hits” that he evidently craved when he entered that forest and disregarded its severity by turning on his camera.

By doing so, YouTube’s job becomes a little easier — after all, it is all about dollars and cents.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.

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*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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