Hate and ignorance prevailed today in response to JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, when she revealed that she had suffered depression and considered suicide earlier in life.
JK Rowling: I considered suicide as a struggling single mother the Daily Mail
For me, it was quite a horrifying introduction to the online social networking and discussion forum communities. It was only shortly after finally figuring out how to link my blog to and sign up for all of these cool sites that I came happily across this article. "Wow! Great," I thought! "Good for her!" I was feeling really fine. I was thankful the world would get to see a successful, intelligent, creative person could suffer from an illness which is rarely associated with successful attributes. My sense of gratitude and relief quickly turned to horror, however, as I began reading the comments in response to this article on those "really cool" websites.
Here are a select few of the 150 current comments on digg.com. Warning: if you have a weak stomach or a low frustration tolerance, you may want to discontinue reading now.
- umm, big deal. who hasn't thought about suicide before? oops.... thats right. my fault. because she's famous this is somehow more important.
- She decided against it when she realized she could torture the world with her writing
- SORRY YOU'RE RICH BUT DON'T REALLY CARE
- Wow, everyone gets depressed once in their life. Next on digg, Brad Pitt: I went through puberty.
- I don't even see why her attempt at suicide is news. Everyone thought about it at least once.
- she should have gone through with it
- WHY IS THIS ON THE FRONT PAGE!!!!!The woman is one of the richest people on the planet. So how is this supposed to make any difference in ANYONE'S life or situation. WHO CARES!!!!!Kevin please fix the algorithm to keep crap like this away from those of us who actually give a shit about what gets here. This makes Digg BORING and less interesting and intellectually useful than it used to be.
- Oh please - who hasn't "contemplated" suicide at some point in their life?Next up? JK Rowling considered taking a shower instead of a bath! Potter fans SHOCKED!
- Too bad she didn't spare us 7 god awful books and slit her wrists in the late 90s.
- depression isn't a disease. It's a state of mind & nothing more than a word. snap out of it!
There's not much left to say...there were a few defenders among the haters, but the vast majority are reflected within the 10 statements I've included above. Wow...
I feel really sad and discouraged. I don't generally get involved in these discussions for that reason. I guess I prefer NOT to know how much hate, rage, envy and self-centeredness there really is in this world. And I think the anonymity of the internet allows for the underbelly of feelings to pour freely from within. It saddens and scares me.
Are people really this mean? Can they really NOT comprehend another person's experience AT ALL, despite their feelings about that person? Is my neighbor who smiles and snow blows my driveway when I can't get out to shovel blasting JK Rowling (and me) for being weak, lazy, attention-seeking, money-grubbing, malingerers with fake illnesses?! I don't want to know. It takes a lot less energy to treat my neighbor with respect and expect that he also respects me. That keeps my life simpler today, and I guess that's the way I need it to be.