Does Technology Play a Role in Teen Suicide?

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Suicide: noun 1. The taking of one’s own life 2. Deliberately killing oneself

Suicide is a permanent solution more often than not to a temporary problem, and sadly over the past ten years the number of teen suicides has risen. How much of a factor is new technology in this rise is hotly debated by parents and psychologist the world over. “The debate is not about how technological advancements like smart phones and high-speed internet and their availability to young people have changed the very fiber of how young people socialize as compared to even five years ago, but in how much it (technology) truly plays in teen suicides.”(Dr. Kashyap MD). Most young people have a cell phone and most have texting; many even have access to the internet through their phones. They can send pictures and update their social networking pages, like Facebook from anywhere and at any time, this is where problems seem to arise. Teens can be ruthless on sites such as Formspring.com, a controversial site where comments are posted anonymously. This sight made headlines earlier this year when it was linked to a teen suicide. People will say things that they would never say to someone’s face when the fear of being identified is removed (Stevenson). So how is this technology being linked to the rise in teen suicide? Miner things like tripping over seemingly nothing and falling on your face, or the fact that you stuttered when you tried to talk to that really cute guy/girl can and very often are caught on someone’s digital phone. It is then sent to other students and may even find its way onto the internet. Something that at first was only witnessed by a few now has the possibility of being seen by thousands. It can now be talked and laughed about for days, weeks and even months, extending the embarrassment and humiliation over the same extended time period. Sometimes this extended period of embarrassment becomes seemingly unbearable. It seems that the worst time for bullying is in middle school when the pressure to fit in and yet the need to be one’s own person is at odds with one another. (Dr. Kashyap MD) Many young people feel the need to show their independents from their parents (Stevenson PHD). It is at this time they tend to look to their peers for acceptance. It is this acceptance or the lack of that determines how many young people see themselves and their place in social network of life. “This is where I see the problem with not so much technology itself but with the abuse of technology,” Ms. Stevenson PHD said. Although computer technology has been a part of our public education for many years and many young people are extremely computer savvy, many parents are not. “Desperate to protect their children, parents are floundering even as they scramble to catch up with the technological sophistication of the next generation” (Hoffman). Although not all teens have a cell phone and not all that do have texting, it is quickly becoming a way for families and friends to commutate. The top cell phone carriers (Verizon, AT&T etc.) as well as many of the pay by the month carries are packaging their cell phone plans and advertising then to included unlimited texting as if it is a must have. Many young people also have internet access as part of their families phone plan, in other words those teens have a portable hand held computer at their disposable at any given moment of the day. With all this wonderful technology came the ability to abuse it and one way some people have abused this form of technology is cyberbullying. "Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple...
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