Suicide in Modern Entertainment
By Oyeinkare O Alamieyeseigha
To kick off the new year, YouTube star, Logan Paul, released a video in which the dead body of a suicide victim is shown. This video kick started many feelings including a re-occurring argument, The encouragement of suicide in modern entertainment. Some parents are of the belief that modern media glamorizes suicide. From 13 Reasons Why to The Game of Thrones, almost every television show portrays a graphic suicide scene. Parents are of the opinion that these scenes are telling children that the only way to solve your problems is to kill yourself. Others are of the opinion that suicide is a real life issue and the media is only showing it with no intended motive.
I believe that art imitates life. The media cannot glamorize suicide unless people are already thinking about suicide being a “glamorous thing”. Even though people are screaming about it and advocating against it, it could be that suicide has become a trend amongst the younger generation. In this case, the younger generation needs to be educated on the aftermath of suicide.
Maybe they see a funeral or a memorial and they thrive for the same attention and fame that comes from death. The problem here is that; these people don’t stop to think about what actually goes on around them when they take their own lives. After all, they don’t get to see depressed parents getting divorced because they can’t handle the loss of their child. They don’t get to see the siblings of the deceased often slip into life-altering vices in order to deal with the death. A re-orientation of the younger generation is necessary to destroy this new trend of suicide.
The media portrays suicide in a way that is almost silly. The mature kids see the suicide scenes and are like, “Why did he just kill himself? He had family and friends that actually cared about him. They could have done this and this to solve their problems.” The media makes an effort to show that most suicides are in vain. Warnings are contained in their descriptions, but these warnings only seem to arrest the attention of people looking for a new TV series to start watching. However, the media is not trying to desensitize suicide. It is simply trying to bring the world’s attention to a problem that needs to be solved. In any case, suicide is an issue of national importance and should be treated as one.
Take for instance there were no TV shows or books which depicted suicide. Suicide would not be treated as or seen as an international issue. Suicide would just occur and after a brief mourning period, families, friends and the general public would simply move on and not bring the attention of others to the deed that had just happened. So in a way, which is yet to be accepted by the older generation, modern entertainment depicts suicide in a good way and does not in anyway glamorize or encourage it. It raises awareness on the topic and gives cause for worldwide bodies to look for ways to reduce the annual suicide rate.
So it all falls on the interpretation of the audience. Suicide in modern entertainment is not to be copied or emulated. It serves as a warning to the general public.