I'm not even going to pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to YouTube personalities and celebrities, but you had to have been living under a rock (or at least not be on social media) to not hear about the Logan Paul controversy that transpired earlier this week in what I would argue is 2018's first major viral story. If you don't know who Logan Paul is, you're not alone, because I know very little about him myself, aside from how he's a famous daily vlogger with over 15 million subscribers on YouTube.
He ran into some trouble during one of his most recent daily vlogs where he filmed himself in a Japanese forest that is infamous for hosting suicides. He would have had to have been a complete idiot to not be aware of that before entering the forest, so don't think for a second that the fact the camera was rolling was a coincidence. He knew he was bound to see something as long as he was in that forest, and ultimately, that was exactly what happened.
Long story short, he encountered a dead body hanging from a tree, which he didn't blur out terribly well in his video. He acted shocked at the sight of the person who seemingly committed suicide, before proceeding to laugh and make jokes about the situation. Needless to say, this was not okay, and to post that at all was insanely stupid. He received plenty of backlash from the online community and subsequently removed the video from YouTube before issuing multiple apologies on Twitter and YouTube.
In so many words, he didn't think twice before posting that video. Perhaps he thought it would be a great way to generate views without realizing how bad the reaction was going to be. Whether it was intentional or not, there is that lesson to be learned here, and it can happen to anyone. No, I'm not defending his actions. In fact, I think what he did was quite deplorable, especially considering it involved a dead body and it was extremely disrespectful to that person and their family. That said, everyone can learn a thing or two from this: social media must be used wisely.
The internet is a place where you can find plenty of entertaining and sometimes inspirational content. Unfortunately, there is a lot of hateful stuff out there as well, which should be avoided at all costs. I would lump this in there with the negative part of the internet considering because it didn't send a positive message of any kind and it was absolutely offensive to anyone who has ever struggled with depression. Getting help to deal with depression is something else entirely, but how you go about using social media is what I want to focus on in this post.
Okay, so you might not be filming a dead body and posting it to YouTube, but you can still do stupid stuff with the simple click of a button on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or wherever. There should be several things you think about before pressing that "Post" or "Submit" or "Send" button, though. This includes who it is affecting. You could be bashing someone directly (or even indirectly), or making a broad statement to the world. It may feel like the cool thing to do in the moment, but more often than not, you're going to regret it later, and some people never forget.
We're all guilty of it at one point or another. I know that I wasn't the wisest when it came to social media when I first started using it close to a decade ago. I did it to let off steam, and in most cases, it was harmless. Other times, I went out of my way to target people, not thinking about how it would hurt them or that they would see it. Because it's the internet, I thought I would be fine within the confines of my computer screen. Cyber-bullying is another issue entirely as well, but it all falls under the umbrella of things that should be contemplated before they are executed.
I personally believe there are many more pros to social media than cons, especially how instantaneous it can be. That's wonderful for receiving and sending information, but people tend to post stuff without thinking about the potential consequences it can have. If nothing else, that was my biggest takeaway from this whole ordeal with Logan Paul. You can forgive him or not, but on the bright side, let his actions be an example of how a mistake made on social media can ruin a reputation and hurt many people. This could have been prevented had he thought twice about posting that video.