Over the years, technology has been integrated more and more into our everyday lives. It has done so much good, allowing us to connect across the globe and advance as a society. It has made our lives easier in general, but it can also be used as a weapon and cause a negative impact on people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate increased 35% from 1999 to 2018. “The rate increased on average approximately 1% per year from 1999 to 2006 and by 2% per year from 2006 through 2018,” the CDC website states.
In 2018, suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.
In the world of social media, people wear masks and hide behind screens, creating standards for beauty and body types of all genders. Standards of perfection no one can meet, plus body shaming and hate, fly throughout the comment sections on Instagram and TikTok.
The stress on many teens and adults causes them to feel worthless. It sometimes can lead to self-harm and even suicide.
Kelly Yeomans was 13 years old when, in 1997, the English teenager overdosed and committed suicide because she had been bullied over her weight. Gabriel Taye was just 8 years old when he killed himself; the third grader had been bullied and beaten at school. These are two out of numerous examples of children leaving parents devastated due to others’ actions.
Bullying and hatred toward people’s body types and appearances need to end. We need to think about our actions and what consequences our actions may have on other people. We all have to open our eyes and work together to create a better atmosphere for teens and people of all ages.
Kyleigh Mcquaid is in the ninth grade at Warwick High School.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, contact the following organizations:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, suicidepreventionlifeline.org, 800-273-8255.
- Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline via TTY at 800-799-4889.
- Lancaster Crisis Intervention, 717-394-2631.