I Should Not Be Telling You To Stop Sensationalizing Suicide

I Should Not Be Telling You To Stop Sensationalizing Suicide

Part of the sign reads "Your life is a precious gift from your parents."
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Over any academic break, I build up a queue of topic ideas to avoid any potential writer's block down the road, but every now and then, a news story halts this schedule because I feel the need to write about it.

We are not even one week into 2018 and mental health is still treated as nothing more but a trend.

If you have not already heard, dumpster fire and YouTube "personality" Logan Paul, who began his rise to fame through the Vine app uploaded a video at the start of 2018 titled "We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest..." This place, known as the Aokigahara forest heaves a dark history, hence its nickname as the Suicide Forest, and you would think that Logan Paul, before leaving for his trip, ran some Google searches on the place to educate himself. I gave him too much benefit of the doubt, and honestly, I wish I never ran across this video. I do not follow Logan Paul on any of his social media accounts. The only stories I hear about him are through friends or other YouTubers I watch, so when I read from one Twitter account of Logan Paul's latest video, I verified it through other people, who all expressed their disgust at his over 6 million viewed vlog before he took it down the next day.

I watched what I could bare of the video before it was gone, but several other users have reuploaded his vlog that reached the #2 and #20 spot in YouTube's trending videos, which is a problem of its own and content YouTube should have immediately flagged and deleted. The issue reaches past Logan Paul's actions, which are atrocious, disrespectful, and thoughtless beyond any comprehension. It is clear that Logan Paul's college education is not in the way of his ignorance. Both he and his just as awful younger brother Jake Paul are men made of noise. Logan Paul garners attention, he craves attention, and what better way to achieve this attention then journeying to the deep and dangerously romanticized Aokigahara forest (The Daily Mail described the forest as "hauntingly beautiful"). Western perceptions of the Aokigahara forest are already distorted enough with the whitewashed horror film The Forest featuring Natalie Dormer based on the real thing. Hollywood already fell for this horrorbait, and it is awful to see someone else do the same, someone with a following consisting of mostly young and impressionable adolescents. What other intention would Logan Paul have to visit the forest than to shock, sensationalize, amass an enormous amount of views, and reinforce these kinds of perceptions, especially as the stigma of mental health in the United States begins to slightly be lifted?

I don't care that the video was demonetized. I don't care that the face of the suicide victim was censored. I don't care that he asked for his fans not to defend him. I don't care for Logan Paul's apology. The fact that he decided it was okay to take a camera into the Aokigahara forest, film a dead man, question whether or not he was actually alive, use him as the thumbnail of his video, crack jokes during the fact, and have the audacity to tell his viewers to subscribe if they have not already makes me nauseous. Logan Paul and I are around the same age, but his complete lack of self awareness and maturity convinces me otherwise.

How dare you sensationalize the awful, tragic death of an individual who took his own life for your own viewer count. Did you know, Logan Paul, that local police forces conduct body sweeps in the forest during the holidays to find, remove, and hopefully identify any victims? Can you imagine the kind of emotional and mental sacrifices made by both the victim and law enforcement to enter the Aokigahara Forest knowing nothing good will come out of it? I know my words will never reach you, but I hope my message comes across to those feeling hurt, conflicted, and confused. To those reading this that suffer from any mental illness, I apologize that we still live in a world where your conditions are romanticized and made nothing more than clickbait, especially given the recent suicide of K-pop singer Jonghyun. As we continue into the depths of 2018, I can only hope more good comes out than evil.

Cover Image Credit: kelo on Flickr Creative Commons

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Staying Quiet Is Never The Answer

Never hold in anything—always talk to someone.

merew14
merew14
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"Talk to someone" may be a phrase used all of the time, but I'm serious when I say, talk to someone.

I cannot stress enough the importance of talking to someone when you are going through anything difficult that is bringing you down. Believe me when I say that this is something I had to learn myself. I'm the queen of not talking about anything to anyone and wearing my, "Everything is okay" mask, but that is one of the most unhealthy things you can do. Holding everything in is so damaging to you emotionally and mentally. When you bottle everything, it will eventually all come out and it will be on someone you are close to who had no idea about anything you tell them.

My reason for not talking was always that my problems would add a burden to someone else and I never wanted to do that; the truth is, those that care about you think more about ways they can help than your problems being a burden for them. I've always been the person to hold everything in until it got to be too much and then I would explode on one of the people closest to me; not only was that damaging to me, but it was damaging to my relationship with that person as well.

Talking to someone is one of the most serious things you can do. People have been placed in your life as people you can vent to and tell everything to. I'm not saying vent to everyone in your life, but find at least one person you can trust and talk to them. The more you talk to people and let them in, the easier it gets to become something you do normally and the easier life gets. Even if you don't want to talk to someone close to you, there are hotlines you can call and talk to people who literally do that as their job. Your problems are not a burden and do not need to be held inside.

Talk to someone; the more you do it, the easier it gets.


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


merew14
merew14

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