There are a lot of things you can learn online. Most of these are good and a few are bad. This brings us to the question whether or not the Internet influences something as bad as suicidal behavior.
Until now, there has been no conclusive evidence which suggests such a claim. If you look online, there are only reports that suggest it is possible. But why if ever does someone decide to kill themselves? Well to answer that, we have to look into the circumstances into their death.
A classic case could be that of a woman from Missouri who posed as a 16 year old boy and sent hateful messages of a neighbor. Since the girl couldn’t take it anymore, she decided to kill herself.
This case shows that she never wanted to end her life. She was persuaded to do so when the suspect said in one message, the world will be better off without her and since she felt so hurt by that statement, she actually did it.
But what if someone wanted to end their life? Can you find this information online? The answer is yes. In fact, researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Oxford and Manchester conducted a study and found that by simply typing a keyword like “how to commit suicide”, a number of sites will pop up showing how someone can actually do it.
What should be pointed out is that although it talks about suicide per se, a certain number of sites did not focus on how to do it but how to prevent it. An almost equal number discourages people from trying to do it and are offering counseling to those who feel the urge.
As parents, we can prevent our children by visiting such sites by using filtering software that block such sites from popping up should their children type this in one of the search engines. We should talk to our children and spend more time with them because by knowing what they are going through, such thoughts of ending their lives will not happen.
If they get hateful messages, tell them to ignore it. Should things get worse, tell them to delete their account and make a new one. As for those who sent the hateful messages, report them to the authorities and be sure to bring a copy of the email or a printout of the conversation because this can be used as evidence against the suspect.
The internet does not influence suicidal behavior. How someone would get the idea to do so must have come from someone else because even if there is information about how to do it online, that person was likely encouraged to do so by another individual.
What we can do to stop our children from every considering it is to monitor what sites are children frequent and be open to them. That way, if they are bullied or are affected by something, you will be able to console them rather than making them feel they are all alone and the only way out is to end their life.
If this is something you cannot take on alone, get professional help because it is better to act now rather than regretting not doing anything when your child was still alive.