If you are curious to know how current and future generations are influenced by reality television, look no further than what happened yesterday after PARTYNEXTDOOR posted a picture of Kehlani’s hand on Instagram with the caption, “After all her shenanigans, still got the R&B singer back in my bed.”
These two have had a long history of sharing every intricate detail of their personal relationship, only what took place yesterday could have easily ended a 20-year-old Grammy-nominated singer's life. Immediately after that post went up on Instagram, many online created a narrative that suggested Kehlani cheated on her boyfriend, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, despite not having a real idea of what may have actually been happening behind closed doors.
The picture dominated conversation across many social media feeds—even among those who had absolutely no idea who in the hell any of the individuals involved were. Not surprisingly, Kehlani was the one pounced on most as numerous folks proceeded to come with a bevy of different ways to call her a ho.
That ridicule preceded Kehlani’s hospitalization over an apparent suicide attempt. In a since-deleted post, Kehlani uploaded a picture of her arm with an IV from a hospital bed, writing, “Today I wanted to leave the Earth.” She went on to note, “Don’t believe the blogs you read. No one was cheated on and I’m not a bad person.”
Kehlani also thanked PND for saving her life. Thankfully he was there for her, but if he had any intel on how fragile her mental state was, in the future, perhaps maintaining privacy about what goes on in and outside of their bedrooms might be best for all parties involved.
I try to stay clear of the “GET OFF MY LAWN!” moments that come with getting older, but I am equal parts befuddled and frightened yesterday at what happened to Kehlani. More importantly, I am increasingly concerned with people sharing every tidbit of their lives and creating noise as if they are a part of a reality show subplot.
I am fearful for people her age and below. For many born after Madonna’s Truth or Dare, The Real World, and the O.J. Simpson trial, and with the rise of reality stars like the Kardashians, there is no such thing as privacy. This habit of chronicling everything about themselves for public consumption is the new norm.
I saw someone say, “If Beyoncé can have a private life, so can these D-listers.” That’s the thing: most people don’t want that. Her celebrity is sort of a relic. And for those who may not understand Kehlani and PARTYNEXTDOOR oversharing, there is another modern trait that people are just as guilty of perpetuating: online cruelty.
Even after Kehlani reportedly tried to commit suicide, people joked about her. This is someone’s life and some still felt compelled to find “humor” in it. What happened to Kehlani yesterday and today says as much about us collectively as it does her. I’m not sure what happens next, but I do know there will be another incident like this. And another. And some will not be as lucky as Kehlani is to wake up to Instagram about it.