Like My Suicide Status

dwholman Blog Posts, HBHE 680 6 Comments

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, social networking websites are the most common activities for today’s youth. So many teenagers and young adults are on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posting intimate parts of their lives for all of the friends to see. From pictures of the night before or written updates, social networks serve as a window to the adolescent’s  feelings and mindset. Sometimes on the these social networks are signs that the adolescent tends to cause harm to themselves. In fact, the social networking sites  can actually broadcast warning signs of suicide, or even intended final words, that might have been private in the past.

On January 5, 2013, 22 year old Seattle rapper Freddy E live-tweeted up to his suicide after breaking up with his girlfriend. One tweet states that  “If there’s a God then He’s calling me back home. This barrel never felt so good next to my dome. It’s cold & I’d rather die than live alone.” Other tweets by the rapper states his love for his family and for the Lord to forgive him.Freddy E is not the only person to publicly display a suicide note on a social networking site. Just weeks before Freddy’s suicide, 19 year old rapper Capital Steez took his own life after tweeting “The End.”

There is an increase in the incidence of people using networking sites to voice thoughts of suicide. So what can be done to prevent those from committing suicide?  Friends and followers on these sites should not turn a blind eye to the warning signs being posted. Having a personal intervention such as calling, texting, emailing, personal messaging, or in-face can make a difference and possibly prevent the person from taking his or hers life. If someone post suicide-related contents, please take them seriously, do not mock or like the status but instead  reach out to the person before they pose any type of danger to his or herself.

 

Comments 6

  1. Thank you for bringing up this topic and its implications. As you mentioned, social networking sites have opened up a new method of communicating about suicide. The use of social networking sites for documenting suicidal ideation or intention of suicide is novel and unique to the latest generation of youth. It seems that these sites offer a timely way for friends and strangers to provide encouragement for individuals who are outwardly contemplating suicide. However, I wonder what kinds of specific, evidence-based techniques can be (or have been) adapted to prevent suicide on these kinds of sites. It is important for people who recognize that another site user has indicated suicide to be armed with concrete and effective methods of assisting that person or seeking out help. You also addressed the use of social networking sites like Twitter to express suicidality among celebrities. I am curious about how celebrities’ use of this method has influenced youth to also engage with social media when they are feeling suicidal and its impact on intentional self-harm and public health.

  2. This is a very interesting blog post! I also wanted to point out that there have been incidences where celebrities have been involved in preventing suicides of their fans through social media. I guess there have been some benefits about communicating about this issue online as well as negative aspects.

  3. This topic reminds me of an incident that happened in my high school. A girl created a “suicide” status on Facebook. When our classmates saw the girl’s status her parents were immediately called and responded by saying the girl was using Facebook as a way to channel her dramatic acting creativity. I am wondering why people take the topic of suicide so lightly and publicly. It is a serious act of violence that affects entire communities. Interventions need to be created to reverse the trend and teach children that it is not something to joke about.

  4. I’m glad you made this point. I think social networking sites are important to consider for any youth/teen intervention, because they are used so frequently by members of that age group and have become an integral part of many teens’ social lives. I wonder whether teens are posting suicidal thoughts and intentions on these sites as a way to try to reach out and seek support. If so, I think it could be helpful to teach teens to recognize posts of suicidal intentions, understand seriousness of those posts, and ways to positively support that individual.

  5. This is a good informational topic. I think it needs to be more broadcasted to help out the people who are giving signs like this over social media. It is hard to reach out sometimes to people in need at such a low point in there life, but it can be done. Generally people who are posting suicidal thoughts over the internet or hints similar to it, are asking for someone to reach out and help them. You can help change someone’s life if this situation, it is also helpful to bring awareness to there family and support of friends.