Social media has put me in touch with so many people from all walks of life – some of these people have been celebrities that I chat to regularly on Twitter.
This morning Charlotte Dawson was found dead in her Sydney home.
Charlotte was often on the receiving end of online bullying. She attempted to take her life in 2012 after an onslaught of attacks via Twitter. Charlotte was open about her depression, which I’m sure helped others to feel less alone.
She was a huge advocate for people who were bullied online, and involved in charity work supporting mental health. She fought for the underdog. She was so warm, she took care of people there and took those fragile people – just like herself – under her wing. She looked after people on Twitter, supporting them and encouraging them.
Charlotte and I have been friends on Twitter for a couple of years now, tweeting to each other regularly. When I was in hospital in 2012, she told me the food I was photographing looked delicious and that she wanted some, and we laughed (virtually) about how it was the first time hospital food looked so desirable! She gave me her phone number too, in case I needed to talk. I sent her a few messages – namely to see how she was during her publicly difficult times. She cheered me on empathetically during my Reddit experience. Yesterday she tweeted me. Saying she was a fan of my blog, and to keep blogging. I thanked her but wish I had have asked her if she was ok.
I feel sad. I didn’t know her for her celebrity, TV hosting or modelling work. I knew her for her words alone. Online friendships, they’re real, you know. I didn’t know Charlotte Dawson away from Twitter, but I feel like I knew what she stood for.
Her death is so tragic. She was present on our TV screens and she reached out to so many yet must have felt terribly alone. Depression does not discriminate.
Rest in peace, Charlotte Dawson. Thank you for the tweets. Thank you for the friendship. My thoughts are with your family and friends – I know they’re hurting right now.
If you need to talk to someone, please contact Lifeline: 13 11 14.