Special thanks to Naomi Nishihira wrote a thoughtful and well written piece on social media and suicide. This article can be found here.
Also, thank you to Nathan Hunsinger who came out to our home with his exceptionally large bag of cameras. Nathan, the coffee is always on.
The article makes an exceptional point that social media changes too fast to engage traditional suicide prevention methods. Even researching suicide prevention as it relates to social media is problematic. As the piece notes, “By the time experts can publish, their work is outdated.”
What then to do? First, we need to talk.
We also need to take this problem seriously by asking tough questions about the kinds of protections can be put in place to ensure that the online environment is as safe as it can be.
Make no mistake, what we have seen convinces us that the risks are real. Some social media sites are devoted to spreading suicidal thoughts. Some actually promote self harm.
Is it merely enough to ask a 13 year old to click on a list of terms and conditions before assuming such an environment is safe?
Is there any other area in our lives that we accept such a low burden, where the risks are so unknown, and the price so great?
This is an issue that really defines where we place our values. A generation of kids is out there watching to see what the grownups do.
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