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.