Social Media has Almost TRIPLED SUICIDE RATES in PRE-TEENS And No One is Talking About it!
What is most certain about something that you can not live without, is that it can kill you. Suicide rates since the introduction of social media have gone up by 70%! There are many other factors into play of course, but consider this, these are the stats of young teen girls aged 15–19! What else is going on in their lives? Maybe the pressure of schools? Well hear me out, suicide rates of pre-teens aged 10–14 have gone up by 151%! And, what do they have other than smartphones in their lives? Not much! Not only this, hospital admissions due to anxiety, depression, and self-harm of this demographic have also unsurprisingly skyrocketed ever since social media was introduced! How much longer are we going to ignore this problem? At what point does someone say, Enough?!
Let’s start with what social media really is? It is the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and content through the internet. Sounds pretty harmless, doesn’t it? While that was the thinking behind it when it was made, it has now become the most harmful piece of technology, especially, for young people in this day and age. The most used social media platforms in the world include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and even Google itself. Well, Google is now a search engine but when it was made, it was classified as Social Media/network.
Social media is a whole other reality, a whole new world. This world is personalized for every user that is on it. How much it is personalized depends on how much you use it. The more you use it, the more the AI designed to keep your attention learns about you. This is when it starts getting more and more dangerous. These AI technologies are highly advanced. Putting their advancement into perspective, the processing power of modern computers since the 1900s has increased much more than a Trillion percent (1 trillion=1000000000000), human brains at the same time, have not evolved even a fraction of that. So they are much smarter than us and that is why we have become slaves to them. We are fighting a losing war!
Humans were designed to care about what a FEW people think about them, not 10000 people! These are overwhelming numbers. The truth about social media is the fact that the more you use it, the more it uses you. Everything you search, everything you post, like, share, every picture you stalk, every anomalistic behavior you present, it records. This comes to a point where it knows how you think. Now it can continuously show you things you want to see.
Social media platforms earn money by keeping your attention. The more time you spend on it, the more they benefit. This is why they HAVE to be personalized to your interests, so you spend hours and hours on them daily.
Consider reels in Instagram, stories in Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube shorts on YouTube. If you see a clip completely, odds are another clip upon the same lines will come your way when you swipe up. Moreover, if you swipe up prematurely, you might not get the same clips again, why is this? This is because the AI is learning more about you with every second you let it. Have you ever watched youtube videos after youtube videos, hours and hours on end? Why do you do that? Because they are personalized to your tastes. They keep showing you what you want to see and you keep scrolling, as you are not getting bored.
What happens then is, another reality is constructed here for us perfectly suited to how we want it. Whenever we have feelings of anxiety, depression, or rejection we move to social media. Why? Because it makes us feel good about ourselves. If you feel alone and you watch a few videos about that, it will start showing you, for example, success stories about people who used to be alone and high signs of intelligence among such people, so you feel good about yourself. But what is so addicting about this world is, you do not face rejection. Think about it. No video is going to tell you, ‘I can’t play for you.’ So if you are born into this, this is how you interpret the world. You think, no one is going to say no to me. And when you go into the real world and someone tells you NO about something, you end up being mentally distressed because of it.
Social media gives you a form of escapism. If you are in an unfamiliar setting, it is easy to turn on your phone and ignore everyone, isn’t it? This way you do not have to deal with the idea of being uncomfortable and you create another world that is perfectly comfortable for you.
So now you have your own world, where you can discover anything. While this seems amazing and powerful it certainly has its own distaste to it. In this world, you can make your own truth, you can consider lies to be the truth. The fact of the matter is, you will believe anything that has more than 4 or 5 articles written on it. Social media does not know whether something is true or false, so it accepts everything. The signal of truth for Google is the number of clicks, for YouTube, the number of views signal validation and credibility, likes on Instagram and Facebook, or saves on Pinterest. You can basically be fed anything. There is this mega loads of information being fed to you so now you do not know what is true and what is not.
Imagine you open Facebook and you see a post saying a guy murdered someone, then you log on to Instagram and it says the same thing, how likely are you to believe it? I am guessing, very! We now accept the reality of the world as it is presented on our phone, or laptop, or whatever we use. And, everyone has their own version of the truth. This results in there being unprecedented disunity among the people. Everyone has a different view, we can not accept the same truth and end up preventing us from navigating through any real problem whatsoever. Someone will tell you, global warming is a hoax, someone else will say it is true, some will say that the problem is constructed just to keep you distracted. And, what is the truth? No one knows. All the while, tens of thousands of new problems are created every second you choose to waste discussing this.
Humans are treated as a resource and what is being extracted from us, is attention. You happen to have more friends that agree with you than those who don’t, why? Because, those who don’t agree with you, you lot happen to have fought in the comment section about your arguments, and you firmly believe what you are thinking happens to be the truth as you have 3 or 4 people to back you and the same goes for them. This ends up leading you into the furthest levels of ignorance. Of course, you are bound to believe your argument is true because every Facebook post says that, every YouTube video says that! What you fail to take into account is that they are also someone’s opinion and have no obligation to be true.
It is ignorant to assume that people don’t know that social media is harmful, they do. But why do they keep on using it then? This is because it produces a pleasurable hormone known as dopamine in the brain. This hormone is associated with activities such as sex and food too. But there is also another reason. There is an idea that the unpredictability of results causes repetitive action because it piques our curiosity. Similarly, when you post a picture on, say, Instagram, it is rational to assume that you will be checking how many likes you get on it. If you do not get enough likes, your fellow colleagues may laugh at you for getting fewer likes than them or fewer in general and this may make you think you are inferior to them, leading to anxiety and depression. But this also goes the other way, people who get more likes tend to be full of themselves, they feel superior to those who don’t. This instills a further desire of being liked as being more liked by others means you are better than someone else (which is bull****).
We as humans all have that desire to be accepted, that is natural but this exercises that muscle causing it to grow up to unprecedented levels. Now, we are all babies requiring attention and appreciation over things that are just not impressive. And when people tell you that, you feel miserable because you have to be validated by someone to feel good. So, why not quit? And the answer to that is, you are worried your friends will abandon you, call you a weirdo, or make fun of you, or you will be invisible. Where did this worry come from? Yeah, you guessed it, social media gave you that unfillable desire to be appreciated and admired by everyone. Well, reality check, it is IMPOSSIBLE for everyone to like you so might as well like yourself!
People are spending hours and hours on their devices and it results in living in a bent out of shape, perfect and rightfully so, a fictitious world. Here, whatever you think is right because 3 billion people are making content, some of them are bound to have the same viewpoint as you. This is most dangerous to people under 25 because if they get into this at an early age, this becomes their lifestyle and it is much harder for them to change it.
Recently, it was found out that some of the major social media platforms hire attention engineers who gather information from Las Vegas casino gamblers to make these as addictive as possible. Do you know some very wealthy people don’t even give their own sons access to this technology which they have preached to us! Can you beat that?!
Now, let’s be honest, if someone happens to read this article, they are not going to quit social media and that is certainly not what I am asking. I wrote this article to spread awareness to anyone who someday, some time may read it. This is a REAL problem and you can not let anyone tell you otherwise. The fact is, we are so addicted to it that we just CAN NOT leave it.
So, try this, try living without your phone for 3 days. If you do not feel any unrest or something as such, which I highly doubt, congrats as you are one of the special few.
But if you do, if you get bored without watching someone else’s life, if you care about how many likes you get on a post, how many followers you have on your Instagram profile, which I am guessing many do, this has become an addiction in your life that could potentially end up ruining it if you let it. So try to consciously control it, because if you are not controlling it, it is controlling you and that is very dangerous!
Children who use social media tend to have high mental pressures and self-esteem issues when they are in their teens. If you are a parent, keep this away from your child until AT LEAST 12, because you can’t stop them their whole life, before it becomes an addiction for them.
Be sure to check out The Social Dilemma on Netflix if you have made it this far.