Logan Paul is a vlogger and an interest personality. He’s in the headlines for posting a Youtube video where he went to Japan’s “Suicide Forest” and he stumbled upon a dead body of someone who recently took their own life. Logan and his friends were making jokes and just handling the situation awfully. Who goes into Suicide Forest with a camera in the first place? He was disrespectful to anyone who has taken their own life and their families, but, most of all, this video was disrespectful to the families of this victim.
Here are three things this whole debacle can teach us.
Be careful who you look up to.
Logan Paul has nearly four million Twitter followers and over 15 million Youtube subscribers. There’s a lot of people who look up to him. They buy his merchandise, watch his YouTube videos, and follow him on all Social Media outlets. But why does our culture look up to celebrities? Why do we look up to people we don’t really know?
I understand the desire to look up to celebrities. I love Leonardo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves, and pretty much any sports athlete, but I don’t look up to them, since I don’t really know anything about who they truly are. I know others have this same boundary, but kids, who just so happen to make up a big part of Logan’s fans, don’t have this same boundary. Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors and he once said the following:
“I think a role model is a mentor – someone you see on a daily basis, and you learn from them.” – Denzel Washington
Being a role model is a privilege, choose them wisely, and make sure it’s someone you actually know.
Address sensitive topics with empathy and wisdom.
Logan Paul claimed he went into the forest to raise awareness for mental health. However, he did it in an insensitive, heartless, and foolish way. He was even cracking jokes, including saying “have you ever stood next to a dead guy?” then laughing. He also made the thumbnail for the video be the lifeless body of the suicide victim. The victim was reduced to clickbait material. So disrespectful.
Logan Paul isn’t the only one who handles sensitive topics inappropriately. I brought up this video to a girl at work today and she stunned me with her disrespect and lack of empathy. She said people who take their lives are attention-seeking babies. I immediately told her to stop and this insensitivity, as a whole, needs to stop as well.
These are big topics, which we should discuss, since we all know people who have struggled with depression. They need an outlet to open up. That person might even be yourself. When we talk about these important issues, our conversations should be seasoned with love, respect, compassion, and empathy. People are hurting in this world and, often times, it’s because of our inability to handle these topics with care.
Be hard on Logan Paul for his big mistake, but don’t overdo it.
I tweeted earlier saying Logan had made a terrible mistake and that his written apology was really bad, since he literally wrote “I didn’t do it for views. I get views”. It was a smug apology devoid of a contrite spirit. Someone responded to my tweet saying that I wasn’t being forgiving as Jesus would want me to be, but was I really?
When someone acts with tremendous disrespect and a lack of empathy, we should speak the truth about it. Being a Christian isn’t about just forgiving anyone and then sweeping the issue under the rug. The Apostle Paul wrote about speaking the truth in love in times like these (Eph. 4:15). We have to balance grace and truth. A forgiveness that doesn’t address the truth isn’t truly forgiveness.
And lastly, Logan Paul made a really foolish mistake and he should face backlash for what he did, but let’s make sure to not cross the line. Whenever someone addresses a sensitive topic in a terrible way, it often opens up people’s wounds from the past. They had something terrible happen to them or someone they love and a jerk just has to open up a wound they thought they had handled. This leads to tremendous hurt. I can’t even understand what these people are going through and I won’t claim to act like I can try to.
All I will say is that Logan Paul made a stupid mistake. I watched the video and thought he was incredibly disrespectful, lacking empathy, and just plain foolish. I think he should face backlash and people, especially those affected by suicide, should voice their hurt to let Logan know he messed up.
This is good for others to see as well, since it reminds people to handle these important topics in a better way. However, let’s not get so consumed with anger that it turns us into someone we’re not. Logan should face backlash, but let’s make sure we don’t say anything we will regret. We should speak the truth in love, even in times where the offense is so awful.
Logan Paul made a mistake and let’s learn from it, so we can handle these topics better ourselves. People deserve better.