Definition- Pardonmyfrench

“It’s Social Suicide”

Social media presence has grown over the past decade, allowing users to create and share content with followers and friends. The content then either receives negative or positive feedback from the audience it was shared with.  Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and dating sites like Tinder, have all been linked to a person’s self-esteem and self-worth based on number of likes and shares. Now in days cell phones enable us to open these apps at the touch of a button, which can alter a person’s outlook on life and mood instantly. These sites have taken over the internet, drawing people of many different backgrounds. Users consist of several races, genders, ages, and sexual orientation, growing the sites diverse crowd. Younger users are the most frequent visitors to most social media sites along with the type of person most effected. Some effects of negative social media interaction have even been proven to lead to depression, anxiety and even suicide among teenage users who do not feel verified enough through their profiles. Social media likes are leading to a recipe for disaster among the teenage community, leading to the question; would getting rid of them increase moral and decrease suicide?

Most teenagers are just trying to find their way in the world. Today it is much harder to be a teen due to social media. There are certain body standards being represented through social media, as well as goals of being an “influencer”, and getting enough “likes” on pictures. Teens are the most heavily influenced group of people on whether or not they gain approval or disapproval from their peers. During the teen and young adult years you are developing emotionally, physically and mentally which can lead to stress without a solid network of support. Without this network, or when other troubling situations occur, this group can fall through the cracks leading to a heavier consideration for suicide. Teen suicide has been on the rise for years. In 2019 the highest amount of suicides among teens was recorded. Teens and young adults have outstripped the title of the group most likely to take their own lives. This is clearly a large issue that needs to be addressed and solved. There are tons of warning signs that need to be caught and ways to prevent this outcome.

Since teens are most likely to seek approval from peers and these days anyone online, negative responses or disapproval can really crush one’s ego. Teens in general are looked at to suffer from a lower self-worth and self-esteem than that of an older, more matured age group. They are more easily influenced by other’s opinions of them, which makes them an extremely vulnerable group. Once negative self-image has crept in it takes over every thought and can affect everyday life. Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks (Unilever). The teenage brain is also nowhere close to developed which could be one of the reasons they are so easily influences by other people’s opinions. The frontal lobe doesn’t develop until mid-twenties, which is in charge of processing and reasoning and making rational decisions. As for self esteem and social media platforms, that also goes hand in hand.

Social media sites are one of the main places people, especially teens, experience feedback in their everyday lives. These platforms thrive on fitting in and social acceptance of users. The sites are sometimes known to host rude comments and bullying. 90% of teens have been known to use social media sites, which if left with social disapproval could be detrimental to one’s self-esteem. Posting to specific sites such as Instagram and Facebook, can be due to many different motivations. Feeling loved or a place to belong, as well as getting to know people better and present oneself to many users at once are just some of the reason’s teens engage with these sites. When a selfie is posted or other aspect of a person’s life, if it is received well and shared this can lead to gratification in someone’s life. Strange the way your mood can now be determined by something completely online. Now if the opposite happens and negative words or not a lot of “likes” are given out, then that user will not feel as confident and not as validated. This can become a dangerous cycle by determining acceptance via social media and strangers. Why is it that likes can determine someone’s social status? Maybe it’s because likes and comments are seen as real-life affirmation teens seek.

Likes on social media are the main driver and reason people post to social media. Seeing which users like and comment on the media you have posted gives a feeling of instant gratification. Some people view every like as positive affirmation of their character. These likes become addictive and stimulate your brain, believe it or not. They begin to symbolize your reputation and where you socially stand. Users might start to constantly compare themselves to others with more likes them. Other things such as comments can also be misinterpreted. Not enough comments or likes as well as certain emojis being used can be misunderstood and lead to the beginning of a downfall not only on a user’s profile but internally in their head as well.

As a whole, social media platforms these days are leading down a rabbit hole of negative effects. Teenagers interaction with the sites and how easily they are influenced and seek approval is just the start of the volatile mix. Teens are also the neediest for approval over other groups leading to lower self-esteem and bigger reactions. They are the group misinterpreting content from other users and most effected all together. Suicide is also on the rise for this age group making the mix of these triggers high and putting teens at risk. Social media needs to be placed on a lower pedestal in everyday life, in order to save teens lives and mental health.


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3 Responses to Definition- Pardonmyfrench

  1. pardonmyfrench13 says:

    I thought I did well on this essay. I would like feedback on what you think I could specifically mitigate or anything that was unclear. Thank you!!


  2. davidbdale says:

    It’s a fair first draft, PMF, but its research is weak and, as a result, your claims are based on very little evidence drawn from brief popular-media sources. You repeat your claims several times using different language because you don’t have enough material for 1000 words. There is SO MUCH to say about the adolescent need for affirmation and positive reinforcement, about adolescent suicide, and about the social media business model, which THRIVES on likes and comments and the interactions that keep users on the site (but which can be toxic to the vulnerable sensibilities of young people).

    You’ve pinned 1000 words on just a few factual observations:
    1. There’s a lot of teen suicide
    2. Young brains are still developing
    3. Teens often suffer from low self-esteem

    Those are useful observations, PMF, but if I gave you a day to research them all, you could easily devote 10,000 words to the topics they represent. You haven’t begun to mine them for the evidence they could provide you.

    I’m going to do five minutes of research at Google Scholar and see what I come up with.
    I got more than 500 results for a pretty specific search string:
    [+”social media” +”teen suicide” +”self esteem”]
    There’s PLENTY of academic research on your topic, PMF, and therefore no need for you to fill your essay with personal reflections and repetition. I suggest you immerse yourself in the material just long enough to shape some complex claims about what sorts of adolescent personality types are most vulnerable to negative self-esteem, for example, or whatever other categorical claims interest you.


  3. davidbdale says:

    One source I found made the connection between teen suicide and social media in a predictable way, blaming the self-harm on bullying. This is just an example of how a little reading can open you to vivid material.

    Brandy Vela (1998–2016) shot herself in the chest in front of her family in her living room after being cybervictimized about her appearance. Andres Villagomez and Karinthya Romero were arrested and charged with various crimes after creating fake Facebook accounts to bully Brandy online (Ferguson 2017).

    Amanda Todd (1996–2012) hanged herself in her home after being blackmailed and then bullied online regarding an online picture of her showing her breasts. The perpetrator would circulate the picture using various online formats, including Facebook, causing Amanda’s peers to tease her both in-person and online (Nobullying.org2017).

    Megan Meier (1992–2006) hanged herself in her closet after an online acquaintance sent her an online message (using MySpace) indicating that the world would be a better place without her. However, the MySpace account and online acquaintance were both fake, created by a parent of Megan’s peer who established the fake account to monitor what Megan was saying about her daughter (Pokin 2007).

    Ryan Halligan (1989–2003) hanged himself in the bathroom of his home after being cybervictimized on American Online (AOL) instant messenger. His peers spread an online rumor that he was gay and a female peer pretended to befriend him online before publicly disavowing his affections at school (PBS 2008).

    The paper cites those examples as a way to engage readers and “bring the message home.” Then it draws some conclusions.

    These cases illustrate how cyberbullying victimization can have deleterious effects on teens and emerging adults—and myriad examples abound. Cyberbullying, defined as repeatedly harming another person or group through electronic or digital means (Englander et al. 2017; Menesini et al. 2012; Tokunaga 2010; Vandebosch and Van Cleemput 2008), is an important societal issue. Indeed, a world-wide survey of youth (aged 8–17) showed that 37% of youth reported being cybervictimized and 24% of the same sample reported cyberbullying others (Microsoft 2012). Although cyberbullying victimization was likely not the only causal factor explaining the suicides in the aforementioned examples, extensive research has shown that cyberbullying victimization is related to a litany of negative psychological outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, decreased self-esteem, loneliness, somatic and emotional problems, and suicide ideation (see Kowalski et al. 2014 for a meta-analysis). Reducing cyberbullying perpetration and, by extension, cyberbullying victimization is paramount. Indeed, one commonality that the four aforementioned suicide tragedies share is that social media platforms were the primary method by which the cyberbullying perpetration occurred. We conclude with recommendations for how social media platforms can aid in the reduction of cyberbullying by creating a less anonymous online environment. Overall, we hope that the research and information in this article will highlight how social media can facilitate or hinder cyberbullying behaviors through anonymity in the online community to further assist intervention experts.

    Notice also that academic sources (unlike the ones you’ve referenced) cite THEIR sources, which can lead you to more useful information.

    In short, to improve your paper, PMF, your first step should be to do some research to help clarify and support your best ideas.


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