Netflix takes suicide blame because of 13 Reason Why. Researchers at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that in 2017, the suicide rate among the between 10 and 17 crowd was at a five year high. This increase happened the month following the show’s debut. And now people have blamed Netflix for this increase in suicides.
This is awful. I haven’t seen the show, but it’s always felt skeevy to me.
However, correlation does not mean causation. Is it possible ’13 Reasons Why’ influenced these poor kids to take their lives? Yes. Is it provable? Hard for me to say. Should Netflix have been more responsible with how they marketed this show? Probably. But, I can’t blame Netflix or this show for the increase in suicides unless I want to start blaming TV and video games for violent behavior.
I am not saying it’s impossible that this show influenced children who were already emotionally frail and a danger to themselves to take that next step. However, I am saying, it certainlty wasn’t the only thing.
Regardless, it is a damn tragedy that these kids took their own lives. It’s a tragedy their candles were snuffed out too soon. The fact that we don’t take the mental health of our children seriously is the larger issue. If we took the time to listen to and care for the children in our society, maybe, just maybe, we could prevent this.
Netflix Takes Suicide Blame, But Other Share the Blame, Too.
Instead, we tell them to suck it up when they get bullied. We shame them for getting sexually assaulted. Our continued destruction of the planet has to cause them anxiety. We allow mass shooters to bring guns into their schools. Furthermore, we pressure them to succeed in life and love. We tell them they need to do well in school. They hear the constant refrain of hard work equals success.
As adults, we instill in them the sense that they have to be the best thing ever, otherwise they are failures. It’s all too much for a teenager to take. What’s more, they shouldn’t have to. We need to be more understanding and aware of what our children are going through. Every adult has been through puberty. We know what it’s like, even if we don’t remember. At that age, it can be difficult to understand what is happening to us. Moreover, it can be difficult to understand how temporary those times are. As adults, we need to be there for the younger generations in any way we can. Not to do so is doing them a disservice.
This Netflix show may have contributed to these awful deaths, but it is far and away the main reason. Again, I am not defending the show or Netflix, but I am saying that if we are going to place blame it might be easy to blame a show, but it’s more worthwhile to take the harder route and look at our own actions and how our inaction has kept the door open for kids to think suicide is their best and only option.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.