Yet Another Very Sad Post, The Evils of Social Media and “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.”

I had fully intended to return to blogging this weekend after a particularly busy three weeks. There was a lot to write about and many pictures to share – My current propensity to write negative posts could perhaps be assuaged.

Two weeks ago I went to Bergen in Norway with my best friend. For the third year in a row we managed to fit in an October City Break and lord knows we both deserved it, having worked so hard over the summer months both trying to earn the spondulicks and support our families. Luck was on our side and we had three wonderful days of dry weather when the sun shone. A cruise along the nearby fjords was a highlight of the trip and for the first time in years I got that sense of wonderment that comes from being amongst stunning scenery so unlike anything I am used to.

As ever, because of modern technology, there was a live hotline to Scotland whilst we were away, and although we knew my friend’s 18-year-old daughter was currently struggling and a bit troubled, we thought all would come right in the end. Sadly, on Friday afternoon, she took her own life. I have no idea what will go on the Death Certificate but in reality it should state Death by Social Media. It is hard for us of a certain age to comprehend cyber-bullying, but it is very real, and on top of all the other pressures an 18-year-old has to face in today’s world, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

I will share a picture of Holly as I will remember her. She was a member of the local pipe band and was usually the person called upon to perform a bagpipe solo, should it be required at some civic event. She was a great sportswoman and a member of the Scotland squad in her chosen discipline. So much to live for, yet probably as a result of her success, and those who were jealous of that success, all now a dreadful waste.

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Holly, 2001-2019

So, another gloomy post from me but I needed to explain my absence around here and warn you I am not in the best frame of mind for blogging at the moment so may well be largely absent for a while yet. We will all try to support my friend and her family, but the one thing they want more than anything else, we can’t give them – To have their daughter back.

It has often been mentioned around here that social media can be ugly and vile but how can we impress on those youngsters (and those in certain sectors of the press) that what they say about people whilst sitting in the comfort of their own homes, can have a profound and sometimes fatal impact. We now have the first generation reaching adulthood who have never known a world without social media, and we are losing them fast. I know that we could have so easily lost DD at the same age, and many of my friends feel the same in relation to their own children, which is why it is hitting us all so hard.

I invariably was thinking of sharing something by Norwegian band a-ha in this post as it was supposed to be all about my trip to Bergen. It hasn’t turned out that way, but I still want to share this song, The Sun Always Shines On TV. Pål Waaktaar, the writer of the song, is quoted as saying: “The Sun Always Shines On TV was written on one of those down days. Mags and I were in a hotel watching English television on a rainy day and the guy announcing the program says, ‘It’s a rainy day but, as ever, the sun always shines on TV.’ The song is about the power of television and the way television presents life.”

They didn’t have social media when the song was written back in 1985, but the sentiment remains the same in today’s world – The sun always shines on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so on. It looks as if your friends’ lives are full of holidays, perfect relationships, glowing skin, stylish hair & clothes and nights out on the town. Thankfully many of us are waking up to the unreality of it all and even risk FOMO in order to tend our mental health. Not so easy if you are a teen however and sadly parental influence has to take a back seat during those tricky teenage years, to be replaced by often unstablising peer-group influence.

The Sun Always Shines On T.V. by a-ha:

Not much more to say really. Apologies if I have not visited the comments boxes of the various blogs I follow for a while but hopefully you will understand why. When I started this blog at the start of 2016 life was a lot less ugly, divisive, dangerous and cruel than it seems to be only four years later. A lot of the blame lands at the feet of he who called the fateful EU Referendum, but of course much, much more to it than that. We are living through strange and uncertain times so all the more reason to hold on tight to family and friends – Keep them close and do whatever it takes to protect them.

Until next time, RIP Holly xxx

The Sun Always Shines On T.V. Lyrics
(Song by Pål Waaktaar)

Touch me
How can it be
Believe me
The sun always shines on TV
Hold me
Close to your heart
Touch me
And give all your love to me
To me

I reached inside myself
And found nothing there
To ease the pressure of
My ever worrying mind
All my powers waste away
I fear the crazed and lonely looks
The mirror’s sending me
These days
Please don’t ask me to defend
The shameful lowlands
Of the way I’m drifting
Gloomily through time

I reached inside myself today
Thinking there’s got to be some way
To keep my troubles distant

Touch me
How can it be
Believe me
The sun always shines on TV
Hold me
Close to your heart
Touch me
And give all your love to me

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

22 thoughts on “Yet Another Very Sad Post, The Evils of Social Media and “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.””

  1. Dear Alison
    So very sorry to hear about Holly…my thoughts and prayers are with her family and all her friends and those who knew her.

    I started following your blog last year, a couple of years after I lost my soulmate. When you lose a part of yourself it is hard to fill the space and time which stretches endlessly….Barry and I always loved music and I have found your blog comforting, evocative and informative.

    Please forgive me for using this space but perhaps Holly’s tragedy might move someone like yourself (you are obviously both computer-savvy and a compassionate person) to use the Internet itself to combat all the hate and cowardice currently rife on so many platforms…..you say that the responsibility lies with the caller of the referendum…..I think that is a cop out!! He merely opened the door and let the trolls in!

    Each and every one of us has a responsibility for the way we act and behave and it is time that all of us stood up to be counted….time to stop phony political correctness and bring back honesty and integrity….time to stop sitting on the sidelines and actually do something to prevent tragedies like this from happening again….if I knew how to do it I would willingly spend my days manually deleting each and every vitriolic tweet and post as soon as they appeared!
    Anyway, to finish as I started…
    Holly has gone to a far better place than this world has become. I am sure she now knows only peace and light.
    Take care
    Sally

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sally – Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoy my blog but such a shame there have been so many negative and sad posts of late. I do wish I could use the internet to combat the hate and cowardice but it would take a vast army of us to even make a dent in it – I can only hope that the tide will eventually turn and such behaviour can somehow be eradicated. In the meantime there will be more tragedies such as this one.

      Before I go I have to ask – Sally Carr is a name we music bloggers of a certain age are very familiar with, as we were all fans of the band Middle of the Road. I suspect not, but if you are THAT Sally Carr, we would love to know?

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  2. I feel very fortunate, probably because I dip into it so infrequently, that my own interactions on social media are generally positive in nature. It’s practically impossible for me (and most of our generation I suspect) to fully grasp the concept and enormous personal costs of cyber-bullying. To call Holly’s death a tragedy doesn’t come close to doing justice to such a deeply devastating event that will have repercussions on her family and friends for the rest of their respective lives. Her passing at just 18, in these particular circumstances, is unthinkably, unfathomably, wretchedly sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we of a certain age seem to have avoided the worst of what social media can throw at us and are not that invested. If you are a teenager however it is all-pervasive and impossible to avoid. There was a lot more to the tragedy written about above that I don’t want to go into but social media played a part for sure.

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  3. So sad to hear that Alyson
    Such a young and clearly talented person who should have had a full and vibrant life ahead of her.
    Social media has a lot to answer for.
    Hopefully those who indulged in cyber bullying will take a long hard look at themselves.
    I do worry for the younger generations.
    You take care and look after your friend. I can’t begin to imagine what she is going through

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is truly awful and I fear for my friend and her husband as their lives will never be the same again. Their daughter had such a lot to look forward to but I know from our own experiences that the late teens are an incredibly difficult time to navigate in today’s world. Glad I was a teen during pre-internet/social media times.

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  4. I can’t imagine what Holly’s family and friends must be going through just now. Such a tragic waste of a young life. Nothing else I can say. My deepest sympathy to Holly’s family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Alyson, so sorry to read this, it is so very tragic – there aren’t really enough words. I’m so sad for all those who knew, loved and cared about Holly and for what she went through to cause her to feel so hopeless. And for all those like her who have so much to look forward to and time to grow, yet find it impossible to see through the darkness. It troubles me to think about the people behind cyber-bullying and how social media so often feeds and fuels the very worst tendencies – what on earth have we done to create such a cruel, intolerant world. Please look after yourself as well as your friend, and sending love. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words and thoughts – To be honest there is an added tragedy to this story I couldn’t even bring myself to share here as I wanted to anonymise it to a certain extent, but suffice to say, life will never be the same for her family. I am hopeful that things will improve as social media is more regulated but no doubt another door will open. So sad.

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    1. It is isn’t it and certainly beyond my comprehension too. I feel as if I have made some wonderful virtual and non-virtual friends through blogging but I don’t class this place as part of “social media”. I suppose it is in a way but everyone is so welcoming and supportive – A forum for wannabe writers I suppose.

      I intend to pass on all the condolences so thank you.

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  6. Oh my gosh, how terribly, terribly sad. My thoughts are with you, and of course Holly’s family and friends. As you know, I lost my best friend earlier this year; I’d had 14 years to prepare for the news, and that wasn’t enough, so I can’t even begin to imagine how those close to Holly must be feeling. Just heart-breaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Second death I’ve read about on a blog today.

    I listen mostly to music from the 1960s and 1970s and the 1980s are one of the direst decades, musically (though not much has happened since then either in my book); most of the little good stuff there was were people from the 60s and 70s who didn’t jump on the bandwagon (even Joni Mitchell had a Fairlight!), and Iron Maiden of course (who were produced by Martin Birch, who produced some of the classic hardrock albums of the 1970s).

    However, a-ha are an exception. I’m not a committed fan and have just a couple of CDs, but I’ve seen them live a few times and they always put on a good show. In fact, my wife and I have tickets for a concert a week from today.

    Liked by 1 person

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