Do We Really Need to Know Every Last Detail?

Last Friday evening, March 22, 2024, my wife and I sat down to watch the 6 o’clock BBC News where we were told that there was to be an announcement from the Princess of Wales about her health concerns following mountains of “trolling” in social media.

It was said that she had come to the decision around the time she was facing intense social media speculation after the Photoshop editing of a family photo released on Mother’s Day.  We further learned that she was always intent on waiting until her children’s school broke up for Easter on Friday to go public about her health.  The princess revealed in this video announcement that she was diagnosed with cancer last month, having spent a fortnight in the private London Clinic for abdominal surgery in January.

In an editorial on January 12 this year in our weekly Update #1098, entitled “Never Complain, Never Explain,” mention was made as follows: “Those of us who have been called at this time can learn from biblical examples, and those who set high standards in public life, like the late Queen who, being a God-fearing woman, implemented standards expected of someone in her position.   And the result was, that as the reigning monarch in the UK for over 70 years, no one could ever point an accusing finger in her direction about her life style and behaviour.  She put up and shut up and she never complained and never explained if adverse publicity arose about the Royal Family.”

That approach has stood the Royal Family in good stead.   Because of the unkindness, speculation and outright lies being peddled on social media platforms, the Princess took the unprecedented step to make this public announcement.

The Sun editor Victoria Newton said: ‘It was actually, I understand, that the princess made the decision two weeks ago that she was going to do this public statement.  The key thing for her as a mother, the priority was protecting those three children. She didn’t want them going to school, being asked even more than they already were.  They were already being affected at school, so it was always her plan that she would wait until the last day of term.  Obviously, they’ve endured an incredible amount of social media speculation which has been really hard for them to handle, but the priority for her was always those children.”

When any of us have serious problems, we may not want to let the “world and his wife” [a British expression, meaning, “a great many people”] have all of the intimate details.  Much of this is private and we should give others the time and space to work through any problems they may have with their family and close friends.   The world does not need to know every jot and tittle about every issue.

Social media has brought about an intrusiveness never experienced before.   Facebook seems to be the instigator of the fashion that everyone in our circle needs to know everything that is going on in our lives.   Other platforms have reinforced this narrative and so many just seemed to have accepted this without really thinking it through.   

Let us think about this.   If the Princess of Wales had listed all of the problems she had had, the media would have had a field day and the questions wouldn’t stop there.   There is an insatiable desire in this world of 24-hour rolling news to fill the airwaves with continuous and even more graphic announcements if possible, and it then takes on a life of its own.   For news reporting and social media today, enough is never enough!

The Princess told us as much as we needed to know and asked for privacy as both she and her family work their way through it all.   Maybe all of that evil online trolling can now die down; human nature being what it is, it is highly unlikely that it will all stop.  An expert on cyber extremism said “the inhumanity” of social media led the royal to make her statement.

The London Standard wrote the following: “There we have it: an answer that finally puts an end to the cruel internet frenzy that became known as Katespiracy and a tragic one: Kate, the Princess of Wales has not been abducted by aliens, selected to appear on The Masked Singer [a reality singing competition TV series] or whatever other outlandish, baseless or distasteful rumours various conspiracy theorists wanted us to believe over the two months since her last public appearance. She has cancer. She was diagnosed with it in February after her abdominal surgery, and is currently in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy.”   And truly, we need to know no more than that.

However, there is some good news about this whole episode in that it has been reported that “visits to the NHS website’s cancer page rose by nearly five-fold following the announcement, while Cancer Research UK and Macmillan also reported a surge in clicks.”   

There was much unkindness in so many of the online comments on this issue.   Kindness is something our world is desperate for and is often in short supply.   But after Jesus Christ’s return to this earth, online trolling will not be allowed and, in the meantime, we can practice the instruction of Proverbs 21:21 (even if others don’t) which states “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

Let us follow these simple admonitions for our own benefit and the benefit of others.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God