According to the CDC, the suicide rate among women of certain age groups has jumped 80% since 1999.
It’s an appallingly tragic number and one that does not receive nearly enough honest attention.
To have a 30% increase in suicide among all Americans and an 80% increase among segments of women over a span of twenty years is cause for both alarm and serious reflection that should have everyone demanding answers.
I offer these graphics as evidence:
An entire generation of Americans, particularly women, has been raised with the significant influence of social media since 1999. The correlation between that and the spike in suicide rates cannot be ignored – the two go hand in hand.
Social media was (and continues to be) touted as a way of bringing people together – but does it really? Or is it a mass exercise in superficiality and unrealistic expectation that appears to most negatively impact women?
Add to social media the part education plays. For the last 20+ years, children have been told that feelings matter above all else – how they feel, how they make others feel, etc. In the modern era school environment everything is secondary to feelings. It’s akin to giving a child a cookie whenever they want. The result is an unhealthy and ultimately very unhappy child.
The schools have been doing the same disservice to our children – and far too many parents have allowed it to happen. Why? Because everyone else is doing it. It’s considered the social norm as displayed across all social media platforms – one deadly influence leading the other.
How much attention has school violence received vs suicide rates? Have there been protests against suicide? 24/7 media coverage? Front page magazine articles?
No, not really. Particularly when compared to the kind of coverage a school shooting receives and yet school violence has steadily been on the decline while suicide rates are spiking. That’s not the truth being shared by the media, or the education system, but it IS the truth:
Our schools are undeniably safer yet that is not the message being spread via the media including social media. That is but one of so many deceptions common to the modern era that has an entire generation being raised on lies until eventually reality and truth visit them and sadly a greater and greater number cannot handle it and end their lives.
Kids spend hours standing in front of a mirror practicing a smile they hope will appeal to others. Every fault is magnified. Every potential strength buried under layers of self-doubt. Selfies are taken not to enjoy the moment, but to try and convince the equally fake and phony masses that they are enjoying the moment. Communication is shortened to a few words or an emoji while real communication, real relationships, disappear until people realize they are left alone and feeling they don’t possess the power to change that. Their life is a mass of meaningless electronic photos, likes, upvotes, downvotes, all without substance, meaning – the things worth living for.
They were taught how feelings are everything yet they feel bad all the time so what are they to do?
Stop feeling. Stop pretending. Stop trying.
They end it.
(And yes, the knowledge that this reflection will be shared on social media doesn’t escape me. Strange days…)
“We’re all alone together screaming in silence.” Murder on Matia
D.W. Ulsterman is an author, educator, socio-political commentator, and the creator of the popular San Juan Islands Mystery series.
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