Teenagers are committing suicide at an alarming rate, and it is only continuing to grow. Teen suicide, besides being the name of a mopey band, is a serious issue that has grown muscular legs in the new millenium. This epidemic has hit a high that it hadn't before reached, and I have a few ideas why this is happening.
The simple answer is: teens don't take suicide seriously.
I might sound like a jerk, or uncaring, or rude, but it is impossible to deny that teenagers today view suicide through a lens of glamour or humor.
Last year, there was a lot of speculation over the show "13 Reasons Why," a show in which a girl named Hannah kills herself and leaves behind 13 tapes detailing why she did it. Some people said the show was glamorizing suicide, while others were saying it was raising awareness. I don't exactly believe the show made suicide itself look glamorous, but it made the justice served because of Hannah's suicide look glamorous.
I don't want to make this whole article about "13 Reasons Why." There are many articles about it. But "13 Reasons Why" does push a vulnerable button that I believe is worrying if you're trying to stop teens from killing themselves. Kids who are going to kill themselves do it for many reasons, and some of those involve bullying or people they experience at school.
"13 Reasons Why" shows the fallout after Hannah's suicide, and shows the comeuppance that her enemies got because of her suicide. For a lot of kids, this looks like a suicide is a "win". The fact that you can kill yourself and a multitude of people will have to wreak the havoc of that after you're gone is glamorizing suicide.
"13 Reasons Why" is just one example.
Other instances include people like XXXTentacion, or the late Lil Peep; rappers who have massive teen followings and think suicide makes you "deep" or intellectual. This is one of the biggest and worst things to come out of suicide awareness. A lot of popular literary figures killed themselves.
Some of the greatest minds of our time have killed themselves. Because of this, new popular figures, like XXXTentacion, have equated that suicide (or being steeped in suicidal thoughts) makes you an intellectual. By this logic, the more you think about killing yourself, the "deeper" you are. People don't understand you? It's just because they aren't as deep as you are.
All of that aside, you don't have to look further than Tumblr or your favorite meme website to see that teenagers don't take suicide seriously.
We live in an age where "kys" and "kms" are internet lingo ("kill yourself" and "kill myself"). Half of the memes we see today are about killing yourself because you did something embarrassing or because "bae" doesn't like you. There are literally too many types of memes like this to list.
I don't know a solution for this. I think this is a symptom of how hedonistic society has become, and it's due to the internet. Children today get constant gratification (or despair) from social media, make-up tutorials, underground music, trends, etc.. There is little that children find today as far as "meaning." Maybe what we need to do is put a sense of meaning back in children's lives, rather than putting a band-aid on their issues and telling them that suicide makes them smarter people.