How the Internet is Affecting Teenagers
*Authors note: If suicide or bullying triggers you, please skip this article. Thank you*
Social Media is affecting teens in many ways. Many of the posts are mean or hurtful, and these comments are often taken to heart. This proved detrimental in the case of one teen amongst many others, Hannah Smith.
In 2013, Hannah Smith was being bullied. Smith had been struggling with a case of eczema and she posted a question to Ask.fm, an anonymous question and answer website that was very big in the early 2010’s.
Almost immediately, Hannah got comments saying things like for her to “do us all a favor n kill ur self” and “cut yourself, and drink bleach.” These comments continued to build for a month and the words impacted her deeply.
So just a month later, to her parent’s surprise and dismay, she did exactly what the comments sneered at her to do. She was found with a noose around her neck tied up to the ceiling in her bedroom. Her dad demanded that justice was brought and that the website was to be shut down.
He claimed the anonymous people who responded to the question were responsible for ending the life of his daughter. But he never got justice, the website is still up, and thriving.
Many victims of cyberbullying never do get justice, but that is not even the worst part. Police believe that Smith sent the mean messages to herself. Her father doesn’t believe them. The police blamed the victim, and said, “Some girls can be self-deprecated.” That was the reason they claimed Hannah took her own life.
Social media can impact many teens for the worst, so think before you send a hateful message or the next time you post. The consequences just might be deadly.