Thursday, 11 January 2018

Suicide Is Not A Joke, Logan Paul.

Social media is a very big part of our lives now in 2018 and it is scary how quickly something can go viral, meaning that many, many people see it. It is well known that more teenagers and younger people are watching YouTube more than they are watching TV, which puts pressure onto content creators (YouTubers) to produce good quality, interesting content and sometimes, they will do anything to bring in the views, like it seems YouTuber Logan Paul did.

Before this incident, I had absolutely no idea who Logan Paul was, but since then, I have learnt a lot about him. One thing I know, is that he doesnt seem to care about anybody but himself and the amount of views he gets. Logan is an American vlogger and actor, from LA, who became known for his six-second clips on video streaming service Vine. Since finding social media fame, he's appeared in Law & Order and YouTube Red film The Thinning, as well as adverts for brands like Hanes and HBO. According to 'Forbes' he earned a staggering £9.25m last year alone and has a reported net worth of £11.1m, but he could indeed be set to lose contracts with big brands like Pepsi, Disney and HBO, as well as being demonitised by YouTube, due to his vlog in Japan which caused major backlash, and with very good reason. This isnt the first time he has caused unnecessary trauma to people, other incidents include when he faked his own death infront of a crowd of very young fans.

The video that caused many to speak up against the creator was uploaded on New Years Eve. His 'vlog' (video blog) started out on his adventures in Japan, where viewers then saw him enter Japan's Aokigahara Forest, which is widely known as a 'suicide forest,' at the base of Mount Fuji. To go into a suicide forest with a camera is not only sick minded, but disrespectful too for the victims and their families. What are the viewers going to think, the young kids, when they see a real life suicide victim that Logan had filmed on camera? If taking a camera in the forest wasnt enough, actually filming a victim hanging was a million miles over the line.

A YouTuber that had real respect for people would turn off the camera, pay their respects and leave the forest for good, but not Logan, he goes closer to the victim and films more. The first thing he talks about is himself, not even about the victim, his family or friends. What about calling the police? What about going back to the carpark which was about 100 yards away from where he was? He then 'apologises' saying "Im so sorry about this, this was supposed to be a fun vlog," he never had  to use his camera whilst he was there for one. He then had the chance to delete the footage and not use it, but he did not- therefore, he used it for views because no other person on this planet would hopefully even think about disrespecting someone like this. He isnt stupid, he know what happens in a widely known 'suicide forest,' there is no way he can claim it was supposed to be a "fun vlog."

He went on to make disgusting jokes about the victim, saying at one point, "you never stood next to a dead guy?" and then he laughs and people laugh with him. He is now laughing at the situation as well as filming it. I dont know about you but I see absolutely no humour in this at all. Nothing is funny about suicide. When I hear suicide, I feel pain and think about suffering, yet he laughs at something so serious? A girl features in the video states "we joked about seeing things in here," what were you joking about? How people commit suicide in this forest? Is that what they find funny, someone losing their life?

Logan Paul clearly thinks that what he is doing is a good thing when he says, "as you can see we have blurred the face of the victim, because we felt like we should protect his identity," if you wanted to protect his identity and respect him as a human being, you wouldnt have picked up the camera in the first place! Not only that, but the blurring was shocking, it was hardly blurred, the face was the only thing that was somewhat blurred which I dont think was right at all, it should have all been blurred, properly. No, it shouldnt have been on camera in the first place, he shouldnt have been there and he shouldnt be making jokes about it.

He claims to have been raising awareness for mental health and suicide. This is not what he was doing, he was exposing young people to something that they didnt have to see and disrespecting another human being for no reason at all. He wanted the views and to be known. If he had have wanted to raise awareness for mental health and suicide then he could have done it differently like many other YouTubers and Bloggers do, like Kati Morton and Laura Lejeune, who actually help people on a daily basis.

Not only was this disturbing and extremely upsetting for anyone who watched the video but it was also triggering for many people who are suffering with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts currently. The talk about the body and the images were all over the internet and for some, it was hard to escape from it, meaning that some people had to take a few days off social media to keep themselves safe.

Eventually, his video was removed from YouTube and his 'apology' was uploaded to Twitter, which was a lousy attempt at an apology but it is below for you to read if you havent already.

No apology is made to the victim or their family, it is all about him, he is so self centred which really shows here. As he said himself, he definitely 'handles that power incorrectly,' but I very much doubt that he will learn from his mistakes, due to the things he has done in the past.

I hate giving someone like Logan even more attention than he deserves, but I think that this had to be addressed, and I wanted it to be on my blog as I know many people that have either been suicidal themselves or even attempted suicide.

I hope this didnt trigger anyone, but if it did, I am so sorry, please reach out to anyone, my twitter DMs are open and I am happy to chat to anyone at any hours of the day if you need help staying safe.

Other alternatives include helplines, a few are listed below, you can google them for your specific country however. Please be safe.
- Call Samaritans: 116 123. They offer a 24 hour service available every day of the year.
- Email Samaritans: if you arent comfortable with talking on the phone. 
- Call Childline: 0800 1111. This is a service for children and young people which is completely free and the number wont show up on your phone bill.
- 1-2-1 chat on Childline: go to their website, log in and enter chat. A childline counsellor will connect to you soon after. There is also a hide bar which you can click if a parent or someone enters the room and it takes you to google so they dont know what you are doing. 
- Talk to a doctor, a mental health care professional or another care professional. 
- If you are a risk to yourself, please take yourself to A&E to get yourself some help because you will be safe there and hopefully will get the appropriate care you need.