CALL me naive but I genuinely thought people might start to be a little nicer to one another this week in light of recent events.

Yet still I am reading unnecessarily unkind comments directed at individuals on social media every day.

The tragic passing of TV presenter Caroline Flack last weekend rocked me to my core.

I did not know her, but have watched many shows she fronted and have always been confused by the relentless criticism thrown her way.

She was just a woman working hard in the job she loved.

A job she probably strived to succeed in for many years and one she probably thought would give her a happy and exciting life.

I am speculating here, but as someone who has pursued a career in the media since my teenage years myself, I feel a little qualified on that score.

Of course my audience has only ever been a tiny, local one so I am extremely grateful I have only experienced a small proportion of the backlash that often comes with being in the public eye.

I have never wanted fame as the thought terrifies me and I know for a fact I would not cope well with it.

However, it is worth speaking out here and saying a few months ago I stopped reading the small number of unpleasant comments I receive some weeks on the newspaper’s website.

Thankfully it does tend to only be a handful… well it was back then, I have not looked for a long time… but trolling is trolling and I decided I did not want to subject myself to it.

No matter how many times you tell yourself these cruel commentators are cowards hiding behind their pseudonyms, getting some kind of twisted pleasure out of directing venom at someone they have never met, it can really take the wind out of your sails.

Oddly enough, I have not experienced a great deal of negativity working as a radio presenter, something I have done for most of my career.

Granted, social media was not even a thing for the first half of my radio life, but today it would appear trolling has become an Olympic sport.

Just this week, American singer and Brits winner Billie Eilish announced in an interview with the BBC she had taken herself off social media.

She said: “The internet is ruining my life, so I turned it off.”

Billie had maintained her online presence to enable her to interact with fans, but now feels she has to stop reading comments altogether, something she wishes she had done a long time ago. In the interview she described the trolling as the “worse it has ever been” for her and, as she accepted her award for Best International Female Artist at the Brits on Tuesday night, she broke down.

Telling the crowd she had “felt very hated recently” it was painfully clear to see the toll this online abuse is taking on her.

Billie is only 18. She is already an international star with an exceptional talent and is set to have a huge future in the music industry for years to come. So why, then, do people feel the need to tear her down? Jealousy? To make themselves feel better? Because they think it’s funny?

You have probably heard the term cancel culture used a lot in the past week, particularly since Caroline Flack took her own life at her home last Saturday.

Cancel culture is just that. It cancels out everything a person is, everything they achieve, everything they stand for.

It is becoming a dangerous past-time and, in this case, the relentless cancelling became simply unbearable for a 40-year-old woman who had so much life left to live. Yes, she was due to attend court to face assault charges involving her partner, charges he did not agree with, but the scrutiny and cruel jibes she was subjected to for years before her death were no doubt ultimately to blame.

Her friend, and fellow presenter, Laura Whitmore, spoke out about the horrific treatment Caroline received at the hands of online trolls on her radio show and told them to “take a good look” at themselves.

She said: “Be kind. Only you are responsible for how you treat others and what you put out in the world.” Laura is right.

We are responsible for treating others with kindness and respect, for building up and supporting those we care about and at the very least keeping negative thoughts to ourselves.

It is human nature to not find every other person to our liking, to not agree with everyone else’s opinions or lifestyle choices, but what purpose does it serve to tell a complete stranger how much you dislike or disapprove of them?

As my mum repeatedly told me growing up, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.