Teen Suicide and Social Media – It’s Real

This article intends to raise awareness among parents, caretakers and educators in the prevention of teen suicide and social media websites in this regard. We are all too familiar with the stories of children and teenagers taking their own lives via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This article is not written in any way to scare anyone from using these websites but rather to draw attention to the fact that there are indeed dangers that come with these websites. In this article I will share with you some facts that I have been able to gather over my years of research.

teen suicide and social media

The first fact that needs to be mentioned here is the social media danger of grooming. There are many social media websites that allow parents and guardians to interact with their teenagers in a fun and entertaining manner. The danger here lies in the fact that it allows for easy communication between those who might feel to be close to the teenager in question. The reason that I am saying this is because the fact of the matter is that the teenager is only a child by the time they reach the age of sixteen.

Therefore they are not as mentally mature as adults and therefore the possibility of them doing or saying something that they would later regret. This is where the danger stems from. The ease and convenience with which they can communicate with each other to make the situation worse. Children may not be able to differentiate between the good and bad times that they have with their friends on these sites. They may think that they are just having fun and may say things to embarrass the teenager in question or to make themselves look better. This is why it is important that parents and guardians to supervise any form of interaction that they children may have with these websites.

The second thing that needs to be mentioned in relation to the social media is the manner in which they can develop an addiction to it. Many teenagers spend a lot of time on their social media pages and do not even care if they are being abused or not. They will keep on spreading information about themselves, which could in one way or another lead them to suicide. To prevent this from happening parents and guardians should sit down with their children and talk to them about the implications of the social media that they are using on a daily basis.

It is also important to know that a teenager might not even be aware of what the dangers of social media sites are. For example, let us say that your teenager creates a profile on a social media site and states that they are a fan of a particular football team. If they do this in secret then the parent and guardian will have no idea that the teenager has taken this step until they find out that the teenager has actually committed suicide in the place where they were supposedly keeping their secrets. Therefore parents and guardians need to make sure that their children are kept aware of the fact that they could put themselves at risk by using these types of sites.

Another issue is that many teenagers take their parents for granted. This happens more so in the case of younger teenagers because they have a tendency to believe that their parents can look after them properly. However this is not always the case and they need to learn that they can’t always be relied upon. Therefore it is advisable that the teenager check on their parents regularly and tell them if something is going wrong.

Suicide is an extremely difficult subject to talk about. All too often we see in the media stories that parents are told that they need to talk to their children about suicidal thoughts and behaviour. Although there is some progress in terms of educating the public about this topic, it is still far from being an easy undertaking. In most cases the parents are at a loss at what to say and how to help their teenager get over such a terrible ordeal.

Social networking sites are good places for teenagers to meet and form relationships. Unfortunately it is also a place where they can easily succumb to peer pressure and end up in trouble. The responsibility lies with the parents to make sure that their children are well looked after and there are no problems in the home that could be responsible for leading a teenager to take their own life. The Internet and social media sites in particular should be used to encourage parents to talk to their teenagers about issues concerning teenage problems.

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