I don’t want to be a human anymore. Thank you, everyone. I love you. Bye.”
This was one of the last few harrowing messages Hana Kimura wrote on her Instagram account before she committed suicide on May 23rd 2020.
Now, why would a young, curious, exuberant, up and coming star in the world of professional wrestling in Japan and a favourite of many viewers on a popular international show suddenly decided to ‘call it quits’ on her professedly happy and promising future?
It was on that very day, May 23rd 2020, after finishing work late at night, I stretched and reclined myself on my comfy couch to catch up on Terrace House, Tokyo 2019–2020 while mindlessly scrolling on my phone. (Yes, I admit I’m a chronic ‘multitasker’, but let’s save that for another story)
As I watched Kimura interact gleefully on screen with her housemates, I was shocked to simultaneously read a piece of news online reporting her death. Refusing to believe it, I read on praying it isn’t true, yet the more I scrolled, the more news confirmed my fear.
Personally, I was fond of Kimura for two simple reasons, she was half Indonesian (I was born in Indonesia) and she had this unconstrained naiveté about love and life that was just bursting at its seams.
Turns out, she had been the target of hundreds of hateful and malicious comments triggered by a tiff she had with a housemate over something as mundane as a laundry faux pas.
Those repulsive attacks didn’t stop shortly after, instead they continued to flood in through numerous social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
The internet is not dissimilar to a hypothetical apocalyptic world, where the most basic social norms no longer exist and true beauty and ugliness of humanity is on full display as all P’s and Q’s are thrown out of the window.
Donning the ‘invisibility cloak’ that the Internet provides, seemingly reasonable people in real life transform into ‘death eaters’, chewing away every morsel of someone’s confidence and self esteem, until there is none left.
If you have a bone to pick with someone, then pick it with them, talk to them, give them constructive criticism, give them a chance to explain and to improve.
Mental well-being is not yet an easy topic to talk about for many of us, but in this day and time where almost all of our interactions are limited through our screen, please think twice, think thrice before using the Internet and loosely regulated social media platforms to publicly humiliate and/or slander another human being in front of the whole world like a modern day stoning.
Governments all over the world, you have the chance to regulate this rising disturbing issue. Social Media Behemoths, we need to stop allowing hatred and wickedness permeate through our veins, that manifests into mental distress, self harm and ultimately, premature death.
Please be kind. Please be compassionate. It may just save a precious life.
Words have meaning.
Words carry energy.
Your one comment may be the last nudge pushing someone down a steep cliff or the deciding factor for someone to have faith and refrain from giving up.