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In recent discussions, people are saying that the show “Thirteen Reasons Why” may have a negative effect on people instead of raising awareness for suicide. On one hand, the show is meant to raise awareness for mental health. On the other hand, people believe that the show could be causing the deaths of more teens. I believe that the show is not appropriate for teen and young adults because of the negative impact it has on them. The evidence given by researchers prove that the show is not okay to watch for teen and young adults. The show “Thirteen Reasons Why” does have positive effects but has more negative outcomes.
One negative effect would be that more suicide has happened since the show came out. Suicide rates have drastically risen since the day it was released. Researcher, Adolfo Aranjuez, says, ‘ In a recent study, researcher John W Ayers and colleagues found that the series sparked approximately 0.9-1.5 million more suicide-related internet searches over its first nineteen days of being on air” (Par. 10). Furthermore, since more teens are watching the show every day, this number could keep rising. The show was only being aired for nineteen day and the rates were already high for suicide. Other researchers argue that 71% of young adults connected to the movie and felt better about talking to someone and getting help (13 Reasons Why’ May Have Actually Had a Positive Effect, Par. 3). The researcher’s argument is true but Aranjuez explains that millions of teens committed suicide after watching the show. I agree that teens should not watch this show because Aranjuez explained that suicide rates went up due to this show. Because the show causes suicide rates, this negative outcome is serious and could cause danger to other teen and young adults. Furthermore, suicide rates have gone up because teens are becoming more aware of suicide. Article writers, John Campo and Jeffrey Bridge say that research that web browsers are collecting data that says people are searching how to commit suicide after the film came out. (Exploring the Impact par. 4). Because teens are becoming aware of suicide and the effects, more teens are willing to try because they do not know any better. Usually the younger teens try activities that are seen on television without thinking about the outcome. Families lose loved ones every day because of suicide and the show does not help at all. This is a very negative outcome because teens are trying to commit suicide because they want someone to care.
Another negative outcome of the show would be that the episodes give teens visuals of how to commit suicide. Extreme visuals give negative ideas to teens and young adults. In one scene of the show, the main character, Hannah Baker, commits suicide and it shows details of how she did it. Sansea Jacobson says, “We know from research that dramatized portrayals of suicide on television and in movies can lead to increased rates of suicide and suicide attempts using the same methods displayed on the screen” (Par.2). Therefore, if teens watch the suicide scene, they are more prominent to commit suicide. Jacobson also suggest that graphic scenes in television shows can trigger depression (Par.5). Because scenes are so graphic, teens that have depression are more likely to relate with the scene and furthermore have a mental break down. So, although these scenes are supposed to make bullies feel bad, it is triggering teen depression. Not only suicide scenes could be triggering but so could the rape scenes. Jacobson says, “There are prolonged rape scenes (yes, more than one, and from multiple perspectives) that are frankly unnecessarily detailed and potentially traumatizing for those with a history of sexual assault” (Par.6). Because rape and suicide scenes take place in this show, teens are more likely to have a triggered response. Rape victims that have watched the show could be aggravated with the scene and furthermore get depressed all over again. Therefore, this is another reason that the show has a negative response to teens. Researchers also think that the show did not give any teachings on the topic of suicide.
The show is also negative because of the absence of warnings signs of suicide given in the show. Bullying should be brought up in school and occasionally suicide. If more awareness took place in school, suicide could be prevented. In one of the scenes, a teacher is supposed to talk about suicide but gets off topic. The show is supposed to talk about suicide not get off topic. Researcher Carolyn Todd says “…in the very first episode, the teacher says, ‘Let’s go over some warning signs for suicide,’…“But instead of going over the warning signs, what Netflix did is focus on [Clay’s] face—the sound fades out and he has a flashback. They could have spent 10 more seconds talking about the warning signs” (Par. 25.) The show could have used more time to explain the warning signs of suicide but instead chose to go on with the drama of the show. Furthermore, the show is said to believe to discourage teens from talking to someone. Todd suggests that teens that are in the situation like Hannah could become scared to talk to an adult because of neglecting signs from everyone (Par.28). Furthermore, teens and young adults could be getting help but are scared to because of the film. The main character, Hannah, even tried to get help. Todd says “Hannah attempted to talk to her school counselor, Mr. Porter, about being bullied and sexually assaulted; she even expressed suicidal thoughts. But Mr. Porter’s response was concerning to experts, who fear it could deter young people from seeking help if they are watching and can to relate to the content” (Par.29). Young adults are becoming afraid to speak up about suicide thoughts. This could be caused by the show because Hannah was basically blown to the side when she talked about her feelings to the councelor. Students should feel like that can talk to somone and the way that the councelor spoke to her was not okay. He could have gotten her help and even expelled the bullies. Although there are more negative outcomes than positive, the positive outcomes are good.
Others argue that the show has positive effects. Many people have taken steps to recovery because of the show. I think that people who watch this show would finally realize how sad it is to bully someone. Bullies may not commit the crime physically, but they do mentally. This show could potentially influence others to start caring about one another. Despite the bad, the show does have good outcomes. The show has made many families care more and seek help for mental illnesses. Researcher, Deborah Serani, says, “Finally, 13 Reasons Why has sparked a surge of calls worldwide to suicide and mental health hotlines, perhaps helping many viewers recognize their need for professional mental health care” (Par. 5). It is good to know that there is good in the show, but the outcomes are far worse. Suicide is something people should take awareness to. The show almost gives ideas on how to do it. Therefore, the show does have some positivity but also has negative outcomes. The series show did give of some positive vides but most of the internet and research suggest otherwise.
In conclusion, “13 Reasons Why” has many negative outcomes for teen and young adults. The show could cause suicide rates to go up, make teens scared to speak up, and cause more teens to have depression. The good outcomes helped families speak up and also helped teens to be nice to one another. When I watched the show, I felt like no teen should watch this with a mental disorder. I say this because of how bad it made me and the peers around me feel. So, even though there are good outcomes to the show, I believe along with the researchers that the show should not be watched by teen and young adults because of the negative fulgor outcomes in the show.
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