Social media and suicide among teenagers

By Ushay Khan

Use of social media among adolescents may significantly impact their mental health and well-being. Suicide rates among teenagers has seen a drastic increase from 2007 till now. Rising suicide rates in these demographic groups have coincided with rising rates of social media use.

 Do not forget that your child’s brain develops very strongly and rapidly during this adulthood, so your kids will be more susceptible to external influences more sensitive, and easier to imitate others actions. Therefore, you need to help your child stay away from self-harming and suicidal content as soon as possible. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 25 years old.

Some most common and serious causes of social media that impact a teen’s suicide behavior are      Reaching harmful content, cyber bullying, social comparison, romanticizing and dramatizing suicides, online games (PUBG and blue whale), Isolation and effects mental and physical health.

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Cyberbullying has been on the rise in teenage range. Increased use of the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic has further boosted this trend.

Social comparison is another factor that impacts teen suicidal behavior. Young people can also have a hard time realizing that not everything they see on social media is real. Photo-editing tools and filters can change a person’s appearance, which can create a desire for unattainable perfection. Negatively comparing themselves with others causes extremely low self-esteem.

Media romanticizes and dramatizes the suicides which have a very negative impact on adults. Teens who play online games like PUBG have a violent and aggressive behavior, they live in an imaginary war field. Blue whale challenge is online suicidal game which offers 50 challenges for 50 days and final challenge is to commit suicide.

 Media had isolated humans. Living alone in a room for a long period of time can causes poor sleep quality poor cardiovascular function and Depression which leads to self-harm suicidal thoughts.

 Over use of social media effects physical and mental health increases the risk of depression anxiety loneliness and even suicidal thoughts. Effects eyesight can cause skin and brain disease. Also causes sleeping issues.

Current evidence suggests that excessive or ‘problematic’ use of social media/internet does impact suicide risk, specifically increasing the risk of suicide attempts in teens. Therefor users must ensure positive and healthy use of social media.

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