Another troubled young star dies before his time and before his body’s barely even cold the haters come crawling out of the rotted woodwork. Among the outpouring of grief, love and sympathy came the (sadly expected) usual vitriol of human nastiness through social media. Every time a picture or dedication pops up, you can guarantee at least one ‘troll’ will be there to sully the good intentions. Whether you knew of or even liked Cory Monteith is neither here nor there. He was apparently a talented, well loved young man who was open about his personal demons and troubled past. He recognised his flaws and was grateful for his gifts in life and tried to deal with his problems the best he could. I’m not a fan of Glee in which he starred but I do respect him at least for that.
On Facebook this morning someone had posted a picture in memory of Cory Monteith where people had posted various messages of ‘RIP’ and ‘We’ll miss you’ etc. I was going to scroll down when statements such as “Who is he and why should I care?” appeared, or worse “I’m glad the worthless junkie is dead”. Whatever happened to if you have nothing nice to say about someone, then don’t say anything at all? I was always taught not to speak ill of the dead ( unless they were a complete b*****d!) I mean, the guy had only just died!! He was only 31 (my age now) and whatever problems he may have had he did not deserve to die nor be vilified by complete a*******s who have not even heard of or known him. No one should have to put up with that and why should his fans or perhaps even his friends and family have to read such things? Has respect really gone out of fashion?
Oh and it’s not just the famous who suffer such unwanted attention either. Countless times I’ve seen or read in the news that some poor family or friend of someone has had to shut down a tribute page to a deceased love one or a charity page set up in the name of someone affected by cancer or something.Why? Because of the abuse from some anonymous, cowardly, vile little cretin who gets their kicks from seeking out and abusing people in their time of grief and/or when they are very vulnerable. A woman raising money to send her terminally ill daughter on holiday before she died was accused of pocketing the money and neglecting the daughter to get attention. Even when the girl died the abuse didn’t stop. You may not agree with people sharing their grief on-line or talking publicly but that’s their choice. People deal with death and illness in their own way, but ‘trolling’ is not the way to raise any objection.
Is respect an endangered concept these days? Has the age of the internet, of people anonymously hiding behind their phones,tablets and computers erased any sense of common decency? Surely the great thing about social networking is that we can reach out and connect with more people than ever before? The only question is, do you really want to? After all, not everyone is there to be your friend. Some people are only out to cause as much misery as they can for nothing other than their own sick entertainment. I find that very disturbing.
Yeah yeah what about Freedom of Speech I hear you cry?! Well for once I just wish people would think about who they might be hurting or offending when they invoke that right. Can’t we just spread a little more love and happiness so we don’t have to keep wiping crap off of our virtual shoes on the internet doormat? Cos sometime it’s gonna start to smell bad.
And a final word from Aretha…