Suicide is classified as a leading cause of death for adolescents within the age group of 10-24 emphasising the extreme situation for today’s youth. In addition to this almost 157,000 teenagers sustain injuries caused by attempted suicide each and every year. Reasons for teenage suicide are many and include bullying, social inequality, academic issues and relationship failures all of which result in depression.
Many teenagers fall into depression whilst searching for an ideal life which they compare to their current lifestyle. Belonging and blending in with youth in their society becomes their goal and thus social pressure can lead to their destruction. The principles behind this ideal life are simply promoted through the media and social networking sites. Many youngsters develop a perfect image of how they should look, behave and eat which is influenced by magazines that continuously show off fashion trends and unhealthy diets, reality shows , celebrities and other elements within the media. But most importantly the new factor that is assumed to significantly damage teen’s view and may be further influential than celebrity show offs is the dreaded social media.
Social media has greatly twisted the minds of teenager’s today and directs how efficiently we receive news and useless information about those around us. The ability to share news and pictures regarding personal lives has forced us to be aware of latest happenings. We continuously witness the negative effects of social media and social networking, particularly when teenagers portray a fake life on social media which resemble an ideal life that every other kid yearns to have.
Edited photos that portray an ideal life constantly overflow social media pages which results in teens believing that they are without this “ideal life” which creates a domino effect in which individuals feel alone, misunderstood and left out, which paired with their desire for an ideal life results in them falling into extreme anxiety and depression. The continuous ongoing exclusion from this perfect life enhances their depression, such that they may be compelled to resolve their issues by means of drastic measures, or in other words; suicide.
There’s a simple solution to this unwanted domino effect: Many teenagers become carried away when creating a false image of their life which can lead to the further depression of those observing social media. Here are some ideas to consider when viewing social media accounts:
- Pictures don’t always show the real deal
- Become your ideal self: Don’t worry about other people and strive to be the best person you can be! Also help other teens turn their fantasies into obtainable goals.
For those who know individuals experiencing depression or searching for this ideal life should also consider some pointers on how to behave:
- Don’t be afraid to speak about your past: Share encouraging stories with those who may be upset
- Go over their best attributes: Help struggling teens acknowledge the optimistic features within their life.
So become the change in a struggling teenager’s life and assist in preventing suicide. Educate yourself of the warning signs and bring positive light to common social media pressures so you can help decrease the teenage suicide rate.