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Chester Bennington’s Tragic Death Shows That As Fans, We Need To Treat Artists Better

We have all had service jobs before. These include but are not limited to retail, food service, hospitality or manual labor. Working at these jobs in high school, college or even still we have all encounter a special breed of asshole. Someone who makes your life a living hell even though you are trying your absolute best to give them quality service. Think back to how you felt when someone stiffed you a tip and left a mean note on the receipt, or told you that your Job was easy enough for a monkey to do, or just generally demeaned you.

It sucked didn't it?

That is what artists go through every day of their lives. Regardless of how good their work is or how much effort they put into it, they are met with hate, trolling or down right ignorance. While of course many of these artists have legions of adoring fans, the criticism becomes hard to ignore. It adds up in the form of stress, insecurity and anxiety. These mixed with demanding and borderline insane schedules is a recipe for serious mental health concerns, mainly – depression.

What We Don't Consider

This has been a difficult few months for the world of music. The tragic suicides of both Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell paint a bleak picture. Life as a superstar is not all that it is cracked up to be. I recently read an incredible piece from that helped give me insight into what exactly artists face everyday. It explained in depth the last few month's of Chester Bennington's life as a musician and the widespread disapproval and criticism he faced. In the below video Chester is almost booed off stage and pelted with trash at one of the last performances he gave with Linkin Park.

If you watched it then I know you are left with an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Now weigh the reaction of that crowd to the outpouring of personal statements about how Linkin Park shaped individuals live's that covered Facebook yesterday. We as a cultural in the digital era forget that words can be incredibly damaging. I am guilty of it too. I cover News and occasionally gossip. I have entirely put spin on stories and probed into deeply personal events that artists have experienced. I am sure that I have caused artists mental harm at some point. It does suck to admit to this. Especially so as when I write a long, thought out opinion piece which I am proud of only to find hateful comments all over social media – It sucks, and has honestly upset me in the past. We all feel the sting when we are the victims, but for whatever reason we continue to spread hate when our target seems larger than life.

Artists Are Still People

That is the main issue. We view these artists as more than just human. We see them as enormous brands who can't be effected by some negative or trolling comments. That just is not the case. Just this past week, Dillon Francis, who is known for his ability to take a joke decided to take a break from social media to mentally recover from negative interactions. He returned with a tweet that we all need to consider before attacking an artist online.

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At the end of the day, if we do not like the direction an artist goes in, or are disappointed in their recent work – we have no right to personally attack them. Be grateful for all the incredible art they have released that has impacted your life positively up until that point and look forward to their next attempt. I know this entire thing has been a wake up call for me. I hope it can be for you as well.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts please do not ignore the signs. Contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline by visiting their website here or by calling/texting their 24/7 hotline via this number: 1-800-273-8255

Note from the Editor: This story was inspired by an opinion editorial that originally appeared on You can read the original story in it's entirety here.

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