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Suicide glamorized in media

“Sooner or later the truth will come out. Welcome to Liberty High.”

The binge-worthy show that almost every teen in America has viewed, “13 Reasons Why.” The most-tweeted show of 2017. Influential or damaging? I can think of 13 reasons this show causes more damage than good today. 

Teen suicide being the second leading cause of death for teens over 5,000 kids attempt it everyday in America. Have producers Jay Asher and Selena Gomez glamorized the thought of suicide? Yes.

Media being most used source in today’s teens can have a positive and negative effect. Mostly negative. 

Creating the copycat effect-you see, you do. “13 Reasons Why” does a heck of a job, showing suicide as the easy way out.”

Just as many of shows, “13 Reasons Why” directs its attention on to suicide and gives teens the wrong outlook on it. The show portrayed step by step events leading into suicide instead of showing ways to prevent it. The show was based on a teenage girl, Hannah Baker in high school going through numerous events that lead to her death. 

Not only did the producers make sure you understood every reason she did it, they also graphical showed us her death. Showing things like this can easily put more thoughts into a teen head who was already considering death, believing it’s the only way out. 

Suicide was depicted through the show as leading to things such as attention, love, to be loved, to be wanted, to be seen, to be popular and more. 

Things of that matter hits close to home for many teens. 

Suicide was not taken serious enough through the series. From Hannah living after she took her life to the tapes itself. 

“I choose not to watch ‘13 Reasons Why’ due to the fact I heard it was graphic and the issues weren’t handled well and I didn’t believe it was good for my mental health,” says Jacqueline Giessler, a senior at Marion High School. “I believe media has a large impact on depression and suicide through teens, many media outlets don’t realize how such a small thing can cause such a huge impact in someone’s life.” 

Students felt so strongly about how the show demonstrated handling suicide and decided to come up with their own showing the positive way to handle suicide. 

A group of students at Oxford High School, after seeing “13 Reason Why” decided to start “13 Reasons Why Not” for 13 school days. According to the school’s website, one student a day shares over the speaker his or her experience/struggle that had some of them considering suicide but then ends by thanking those who gave hope and helped them get through their tough times. 

Many media outlets and TV producers don’t really understand the effect and risk of taking such a serious and well known topic such as depression and suicide and trying to glamorize it can have a huge impact on a teen.

Suicide is like a virus, once someone catches it, it can spread rapidly. Media is like the bacteria and not the vaccine.


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