Last evening I stumbled upon a news report that spoke about a teenager in Noida, India, who ended his life because he could not get enough ‘likes’ on Tiktok. And I said to myself, this guy must have discovered the world’s thinnest reason to end life if this report is to be completely believed.
I used to be amongst the people who assumed that suicide is always a reckless choice of cowardice. That was until I met someone who had attempted suicide in the past, and they explained to me, up to an extent, that how it’s not always the case of cowardice or shying away from facing life. They said that people who choose to end their lives are very well aware of the consequences of their choices; they do think about their parents and friends and even second guess themselves a number of times. Despite the realizations if they choose death, it was only because the motive was, from their point of view, stronger than all else.
Although the report of yesterday blew the understanding right out of the window. Is not getting enough lives on TikTok a solid reason to end life? If this boy had second thoughts, what were they at all, to not withstand even the silliest reason of no likes on a Chinese app?
The trends of social media usage and the psychological impacts they have on young minds are scary, to say the least. Not only is the generation of social media creating, circulating and appreciating disgustingly mediocre content; it is also building castles of popularity and gratification in thin air. When the castles come crashing, there is no foundation to rebuild upon, which leads to decisions like suicide or pushes them into depression.
There sure are solutions to it but the problem seems to have gone too far already for the sanity to catch up on. This news report is just one example of the infinite number of cases worldwide. And for as long as we can and for as far as we can go, we can and must make efforts to ruthlessly keep ourselves and our loved ones away from such traps.