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Social Media Use Can Lead to Suicide

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Social Media Use Can Lead to Suicide

Liv Jayne, Staff Writer

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More addictive than the world’s strongest alcohols and drugs, social media is leading to suicide in today’s teens. Restrictions need to be placed on how often teenagers can access social media.

The negative effects of social media are shown to be more serious within teenagers.

Due to the increasing use of social media amongst teens and adolescents, more and more health issues rose such as depression and lower self-esteem.

Other effects that social media have on teenagers especially are body image and body confidence issues. Celebrities and even other teenagers Photoshop their pictures to appear as perfect individuals, installing a sense of body insecurity into others.

These people should not be able to lie about what they look like on social media, and as a result of this less teens and even adults could feel secure in their bodies and have body confidence.

As well as having insecurities about their bodies people are envying other social media users. This envy may come from a post about a new car or partner that one friend shares on their social media for all of their followers to see.

Resulting from this envy towards others, social media users are more likely to become depressed or develop anxiety. Technology is shown to worsen already prevalent symptoms of depression and anxiety as well. Researchers have found that people who check Facebook late at night are six percent more likely to be depressed.  

Social media usage increasing has also lead to an increase of cyberbullying amongst its users. It has also been shown through recent studies that the amount of children from ages 12-15 being bullied online has almost doubled from 6% to 11%  since the year 2016.

An article titled “7 Negative Effects of Social Media on People and Users” states, “The anonymity that social networks provide can be used by the perpetrators to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers” (Zhukova 1). Online predators are able to find their next victim within seconds and make them trust them so that they can potentially hurt the victim or just bring them down so that they can feel better about themselves.

As a result of all of the other negative effects that social media has, the suicide rates have increased significantly globally. Suicide is now the biggest killer of teenagers in the United Kingdom and “…the suicide rate in the US has grown nearly 25 percent since 1999, with Dr Nassir Ghaemi telling CNN part of the blame must lie with the rise of social media” (“The Week” 1).

Children who have no mental health issues such as 14 year old Molly Russell were exposed to social media and developed signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and self-harm.

Molly as well as one million other people every year committed suicide as a result of their social media usage.

Molly Russell’s father said in an interview with the BBC that social media platforms including Instagram that contributed to his daughters death.

Social media is killing children by exposing them to harmful influences such as bullies and online predators as well as unachievable beauty standards and friendship ideals leading them to commit suicide. The online world should not be allowed to be openly used by anyone whenever they want to.    

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