Social media is a huge world of opinions, self obsession and the latest trends. Kids and adults are both affected by it’s negative side. Anxiety plays a huge role and is very real. It affects young people harder than most since they’re still trying to figure out who they are in life, what they want to be, and whose opinions they should listen to.
12-year-old Gabe Rongier from Pittsburgh, PA, was chatting with a friend in Texas on Snapchat when she posted that she “wouldn’t be here tomorrow” which alerted him to act fast.
Gabe, worrying that she meant harm to herself and that she was planning to commit suicide, contacted the suicide hotline straight away. Fortunately, police in Texas were able to get to her in time.
Officers sent Rongier a letter and a patch to thank him for being on the alert and helping a friend.
Grand Saline Police Chief Jeremy Barker expressed:
“It’s reassuring to know that there are kids out there like Gabriel that show bravery and heroism and doing the right thing for someone else,”
Teen suicide is on increase and according to the CDC, it’s the third leading cause of death in people between the ages of 10 and 24.
There is a lot of evidence that social media and smartphone use could be linked to the spike in self-harm by teens.
A study led by psychologist Jean Twenge analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that included responses from 200,000 adolescents aged 12-17 and found that, in the last decade, the number of teens who have reported depression symptoms in the past year has increased 52%.
Mary Fristad, clinical child psychologist of Ohio State University thinks the study’s conclusion that social media plays a role in the change is completely correct.
It’s so important that if you have children who are actively on social media, to talk to them and check if they’re okay. Make sure they know how to get help, and not to wait.