Live-Streaming Suicide Is New Social Media Concern For Parents, What Can Be Done About It?

As social media use becomes a daily part of everyone's lifestyle, parents are growing concern over a trend that has been happening in the last month. At least two teenagers have live-streamed their suicide in public in January and experts say this is something that must not be ignored.

Suicide among young adults is a serious issue and the problem is made worse because of everyone's easy access to social media. Dr. Katherine Ramsland of the DeSales University told Miami Herald that this fad can be attributed to the "age of reality television" that came to light 13 years ago. Ramsland also said that the trend could be akin to celebrities killing themselves, which might convince teens to do the same.

Teens are more open to broadcasting anything on their social media accounts. They don't see privacy issues as a big concern, unlike the more conservative and cautious adults.

The specific motives behind why people are live-streaming suicide can have many factors. The harm of live-streaming suicide, however, are real and damaging to impressionable teenagers who might feel more connection to their social media friends.

The recent incidents of live-streamed suicides among teens also put the spotlight on social media platforms and their responsibility towards the users, according to the Wall Street Journal. What moral and ethical obligations do sites like Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat hold?

Are these platforms encouraging live-streaming suicides? Phyllis Alongi, a clinical expert on teen suicide, believes that regardless if it happens live on social media or in any other cases, incidence can be curbed if there is more awareness on suicide in general.

"We need to promote suicide prevention through awareness and education," Alongi said. "We need to make it okay to ask for help for ourselves and others."

Parents, what do you think about this latest trend among teens in social media? What do you think will help address the problem? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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