Lim: Breakups

·3 min read

In this season of celebrity breakups, we could all be kinder. It’s no fun to break up. But it’s much worse when the entire cyber universe has to know about it and weigh in on why and how it all went down.

I know. People say it’s the price one must pay for being a public figure. Is it? Maybe.

But public figures still deserve a private life. They may derive revenue from a public following but that doesn’t give the public the right to feast on their miseries. They feel as much pain as the obscure mortals who walk the Earth dying for their 15 minutes of fame.

They have fame and fortune but deep down, they really are just like us. They hurt. They ache. Their tears fall. They feel just as devastated as us. And like us, they also want to grieve in private.

Yes. Even when they share parts of their lives with us, that doesn’t give us the right to demand to know the rest that they want to keep for themselves.

I get that with social media, the world has changed. And that putting yourself out there can make you fair game. And yet, I’d like to believe there are still some decent people out there who will think before posting memes to mock people in pain.

It’s really not funny when it’s about you.

You have to have walked down that road to understand what it’s like to have everyone talking about you and your breakup.

In my time, if you unwisely tell a few people who will also unwisely retell it to a few more, before you know it, you will be the talk of the town. But thankfully, it was the pre-social media age.

Still, with each retelling, the plot thickens. A few embellishments here and there. Before you know it, the story has been revised with such magnitude you hardly recognize it as your own. After the nth retelling, the only thing true about it is that “something” happened.

Today, however, it seems that with social media, everything is everyone’s business. Everyone has an opinion on everything and they have to share it. One doesn’t even have to be an opinion columnist.

I guess netizens are having their day. It’s a changed world in cyberspace. But there is little accountability when posts are made by people who hide behind their screens. And people are somehow bolder and meaner when they’re not face to face.

Breakups hurt. But more than a few turn out for the best. So, for those who just got out of problematic relationships, relish your independence on Independence Day.

It hurts to have loved and lost. It hurts to have failed. But it hurts more to have strangers weigh in when they know nothing about what actually happened. So, stop the mockery and the memes. It’s only funny when it’s not you.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

In this season of celebrity breakups, we could all be kinder.

What if it was you?

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