Social media has taken over the teenage population of America. Almost 100 percent of the teenage population checks at least one version of social media everyday. With the huge rise in social media and technology, studies have also shown an even larger rise in mental health issues. The biggest mental health issue is suicide. Is there a correlation between these two things?
After my research that I have done so far, I seems pretty apparent to me that yes, indeed, there is a connection between social media and suicide. Social media does not bring hardly any benefits to our society. All social media does is show the perfect sides of people’s lives, which even then are far from perfect, and it is not a platform designed to show normal, real, everyday life. Nobody is perfect, but social media would beg to differ. This negative comparison and image leads to a feeling of insecurity among the teenage population who is designed to use these media platforms.
With these feelings of insecurity comes the unfortunate aspect of depression. Depression is a real illness and it is a killer. There is no better way to say it. Suicide rates among teens have absolutely shot up as social media has become more relevant, and I cannot help but believe that there is a direct correlation there.
As I have researched this issue further, I found another very interesting article. This article is a research piece posted on the us national library of medicine. In this article is cements the point that there indeed must be a connection between the rising social media usage rates among teens and the rising teen suicide rates. A very interesting paragraph from the article discusses how suicide can also be thought of as somewhat trendy on social media. This is a point that I had not necessarily thought of, but it is very relevant and compelling. It reads, “Social media platforms such as chat rooms and discussion forums may also pose a risk for vulnerable groups by influencing decisions to die by suicide. In particular, interactions via chat rooms or discussion forums may foster peer pressure to die by suicide, encourage users to idolize those who have completed suicide, or facilitate suicide pacts. Ultimately, these interactions may reduce the doubts or fears of people who are ambivalent about suicide. A trend also appears to be emerging in which people use social media to leave suicide notes. Suicide notes left by individuals via social media are shared with the public instantaneously and may influence the decisions of other vulnerable people who encounter them.
It is very unbelievable that these pictures, words, and bodies, that we perceive and see through the tiny screens in our lives. Social media truly is a black hole that is capable of sucking us in, and holding us captive in our own thoughts and comparisons. We need to be more careful and aware of the inescapable effects of social media, and the potential harm that it has to ruin lives.
Luxton, David D., et al. American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, May 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3477910/?report=classic.