Jessica Laney’s parents never thought that they would lose their daughter at such a young age. Parents are not supposed to bury their children, children are supposed to bury their parents. But when social networks give an anonymity button, they allow young adults to torment and harass other young adults, which is exactly what led Jessica Laney to believe that suicide was her only option to escaping the torment. Social networks have been around the world for the last decade and a half, and each day the number for teens that take their lives from harassment online continues to increase and captivate those who pay attention to these stories. America should take further action to prevent the continuation of social networks aiding in suicides, because officials have provided actual statistics showing that social network websites cause young adults to take their lives, because teens also use social media as a final resort/cry for help when they see no other outlet, and because cyber-bullying is the main factor when it comes to suicide.
Suicide, by definition, is the act of taking one’s life intentionally. Social networks are a network of social interactions and relationships that take place on a website. These networks allow users to make various posts and comments back and forth. The correlation that social networks and suicide share is that when a teen who is desperate for social acceptance is unable to find it within their schools from their peers. Another correlation that they share is when a young adults peers are verbally abusive towards them and then they continue that abuse within the confines of social networks. From personal experience of this, it usually leads the person to feel as if there is no way out of the attacks and they assess that suicide is the only option. The young adult no longer sees the consequences that this action will leave in the wake of their decision. Social networks have been used throughout the last five years as a way to attack someone either anonymously or verbally. A young adult who has expressed their dislike of one of their peers in the classroom, turns to social networks as a means to continue that torment. There is evidence from the year 2008 that, “…almost 16 percent of youths had seriously considered suicide and almost 13 percent had made a suicide plan in the previous 12 months,” (Nauert). This number is still too high and shows that young adults do not see the consequences that their actions can cause or how fragile life can be. In the year 2008, “…youths used the phrase “kill myself 51.6% of the time” (Nauert), they are using social networks as one last attempt to save them from whatever they are going through. “Cyberbullying offenders were 1.5 times as likely to report having attempted suicide than children who were not offenders or victims of cyberbullying” (Luxton, June, Fairall). When young adults sign online, they are not expecting comments that will degrade their physical appearance or even attacking them emotionally. They are expecting to find common ground with their peers as well as with strangers, “Online bullying from peers is not only driving ordinary youth to suicide…” (Doucet) In Doucet’s article he discusses how not only online bullying driving today’s youth to suicide is but also anonymous trolls are also causing teens to contemplate suicide. Tyler Clementi, was an 18 year old student at the prestigious Rutgers University in New Jersey. Tyler Clementi was a homosexual, but not everyone knew this. On September 19th, 2010 Tyler Clementi’s roommate and a supposed friend filmed Tyler Clementi, without his knowledge, and another male together. After being exposed and harassed continuously, Tyler took his own life two days later after not seeing any other way out. My experience with social networking at first was not one of joyous memories. I have always been aware that I do not look like the other girls that I grew up around and that I was not always