Could your ‘unfriending’ or ‘ghosting’ kill someone?
Recently I subscribed to Netflix and watched the series that’s got everyone talking ’13 Reasons Why.’ If you haven’t seen it, then you need to subscribe to one months free Netflix subscription and watch it (see no excuses!) Because I can guarantee it will be the best thing you ever did… (I apologise in advance for the binge watching you will do. This seriously is addictive).
Check out the trailer >> 13 Reasons Why Trailer
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet *spoiler alert* it is about 17 year old Hannah Baker who commits suicide following a series of events, which are known as the 13 reasons that led her to take her own life. Before Hannah commits suicide she records 13 cassette tapes. Each tape is dedicated to an individual in her life that has let her down or hurt her in someway, which ultimately contributes to her death. Before taking her life, Hannah leaves the cassette tapes in a shoebox on the doorstep of a trusted friend who is left with instructions to pass the tapes to first person on her list. Each person on Hannah’s list will hear a story about themselves on the tapes and the 12 other people that led to her death. After listening to all 13 “reasons,” the individual will be instructed to anonymously leave the tapes on the door step of the second person on the list… and so the cycle continues.
The tapes begin with a chilling opening …“I’m about to tell you the story of my life – more specifically, why my life ended. And if you’re listening to this tape, you’re one of the reasons why.’
Within the tapes lies people’s darkest secrets and insecurities. It exposes all 13 people for everything they truly are, despite the façade the rest of the world believe. With many twists and turns this mystery is highly unpredictable and utterly heartbreaking. It highlights the gravity of mental health issues and bullying. You may think that prior to clicking play you’re as innocent as they come, but I guarantee by the subtitles you’ll feel a tinge of guilt from being an active participant in this cruel world. From everything you did or didn’t do.
Think you couldn’t be held responsible for someone’s suicide? Let me put it to you… have you every done something or said something that could hurt someone’s feelings? Has your behaviour ever intended to hurt some one physically or mentally? Have you ever used social media as a platform to emotionally bully someone? Honestly, I think we all have. From ‘unfriending’ to ‘ghosting,’ to sharing mean quotes and writing nasty captions, from turning a blind eye to someone experiencing name calling or simply being a bystander…at some point in our lives, we have all been guilty. Maybe you think it’s a bit far fetched, that an unfriending could lead to a suicide? But how much do you REALLY know about what’s going on in other peoples lives? What other shit they are dealing with? Maybe they already have a mental health issue which they are keeping under wraps? Maybe they have a chronic illness that defeats them day in day out and they just want the clocks to stop? Maybe just maybe you might end up tipping them over the edge?
But they look normal right? They engage in social media and turn up to parties… So did Hannah Baker. She’s dead now.
Something needs to change. We’ve become a nation of bullies and bystanders. We live in a world that allows us to sit behind screens, at the comfort of our own homes and attack others… because we don’t like something that they’ve done or because we don’t like the person that they are anymore? If we continue to fuel the cycle of hate, we will continue to fuel the cycle of suicide. Maybe we should be less concerned with pointing the finger at someone else and start pointing the finger at ourselves. What could we have done? What part did we play? We need to start taking responsibility for ourselves, because I assure you none of us are guilt-free.
Don’t be someone’s reason why.