- 71% of young generations say they are concerned about cyberbullying (Reportlinker June 2017)
- A 2016 report from the Cyberbullying Research Center indicates that 33.8% of students between 12 and 17 were victims of cyberbullying in their lifetime. Conversely, 11.5% of students between 12 and 17 indicated that they had engaged in cyberbullying in their lifetime. (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2016).
- Among Internet users of Canadians between ages 15 – 29, 17 percent (or 1 in 5) said they had been victims of cyberstalking or cyberbullying in the previous five years. (Statistics Canada, December 2016).
- In a random sample study over 14% admitted to cyberbullying another person, with spreading rumors online, via text, or email being the most common form of bullying. (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2015).
- Girls (40.6%) are much more likely to be victims of cyberbullying than boys (28.8%). Girls also dominate social media, while boys tend to play videogames. (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2015).
- A 2015 random sample study of 11-15 year olds in the Midwest found that over 34% reported being the victim of cyberbullying in their lifetime. (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2015).
- A study by McAfee, found that 87% of teens have observed cyberbullying. (McAfee, 2014 Teens and the Screen study: Exploring Online Privacy, Social Networking and Cyberbullying).
- More than half of teens have witnessed cyberbullying on social media. Cox. (2014) “Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey.” The Futures Company.
- 54% of teens surveyed have witnessed online bullying: Cox. (2014) “Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey.” The Futures Company.
- 39% on Facebook
- 29% on YouTube
- 22% on Twitter
- 22% on Instagram
- 60% of teens who admit to being bullied online have told an adult (compared to 40% last year). Cox. (2014) “Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey.” The Futures Company.
- Teens who report being bullied say it was because of their:
- Encourage parents and guardians to spend 15 minutes per day talking to their kids. (The KnowBullying App has conversation starters). Cox. (2014) “Cox 2014 Internet Safety Survey.” The Futures Company. READ MORE
There were 1748 deaths by suicide in 2013 among teens aged 15 to 19 years old, and this number might actually be higher, as “some of these deaths may have been recorded as accidental.” With a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) showing that suicide is now the second leading cause of death for adolescents. With social media becoming a daily ritual for most teenagers, the question of whether social media is to blame for the rise of suicide deaths is now being debated more than ever.
“Suicide risk can only be reduced, not eliminated,” writes AAP lead author, Benjamin Shain, MD, PhD, but if social media is to blame for this higher rate, then should teens be pulled out of this social craze?
The Risk Factors that Lead to Teen Suicides
The AAP lists a number of risk factors that lead to suicide attempts. These include “a family history of suicide, a history of physical or sexual abuse, mood disorders, drug and alcohol use, and lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning sexual orientation or transgender identification. An important additional risk factor for suicide is bullying.”
Most of these factors are not determined by social media, except bullying. Social media has made it easier for us all to bully others. In fact, reports show that 43% of teens have reported being bullied online, compared to 19.6% of those at school. With teen suicide rates being higher, the correlation between these deaths and social media may not be so far off.
Bullying and Social Media
“Bullying has always been a major issue for adolescents, but there is now greater recognition of the connection between bullying and suicide,” Shain explains. Although cyberbullying happens online, it is nevertheless, “as serious” as face-to-face bullying. In fact, results from a survey given to approximately 2000 middle school children, “indicated that victims of cyberbullying were almost 2 times as likely to attempt suicide than those who were not.”
As parents, ensuring that our teens are not being cyberbullied is an essential form of prevention. This is especially important when statistics show that 81% of teens have admitted that it is easier to bully people online and only 1 in 10 admitted to telling an adult when they are being bullied.
Cyberbullying cannot be recognized as the only factor that causes suicide attempts in adolescents, however, “it can increase risk of suicide by amplifying feelings of isolation, instability, and hopelessness for those with preexisting emotional, psychological, or environmental stressors.”
Tell me, do any of you dread the holidays, I know sometimes I do. I don’t know about you, but my heart gets so heavy with sadness during the holiday times. Ohh, I smile and pretend that I’m okay, but deep down there is a hole in my heart that can never be filled. Losing a child is something no parent should have to experience. I miss my Conner so much and his memory will forever be etched in my mind. I desperately miss his sweet hugs and his tender words that said MOM, I love you. He was such a beautiful person and had such a tender heart of compassion.
I’m reminded every Christmas of the times of when laughter filled the walls of my home. When my children were younger the joy of Christmas was so much fun. Always enjoying putting up the Christmas tree, buying gifts and cooking my son’s favorite dressing. Christmas Eve night was spent on the floor, putting gifts together till wee hours of the morning and making sure everything was perfect for the coming Christmas morning. When the sounds of voices would be heightened and eyes wide open with looks of excitement that would come from my children when they saw all that Santa had put under the tree. Showing them with excitement that Santa had eaten the cookies and drank all the milk that was left for him near the fireplace. Seeing their little faces light up would make my heart almost explode with love and joy. God truly did smile upon me when he gave me my three beautiful sons. As I write this, with tears running down my face, the emotions of reliving those precious moments with my beloved children are priceless and never to be forgotten.
Now they are all grown up with their own families enjoying the same fun I experienced when they were young. My how life changes and passes by so quickly. So the seasons of life change and with those seasons we experience happiness as well as loss and disappointment. Life is never easy and yes, sometimes we all feel like giving up. But I am always reminded that there in one thing in my life that has never changed and that is the faithfulness of God. Even though the seasons of my life have been both bright and dark, my God has always been faithful to me to see me through. He has been my constant strength, and even in the darkest nights of my soul, he has always been the light my eyes behold. His love is unconditional and immeasurable and his word says he will never leave us nor forsake us.
I want to reach out to those right now that are reading this and struggling with heartbreak, disappointment,hopelessness, loss and brokenness. Look up, for your redemption draws near. Turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. Give him every burden and every care, for he is the yoke bearer. We cry Abba Father!!! I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas and remember one thing…GIVE THANKS… give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son. And now let the weak say, “ I am strong” Let the poor say, “I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us” Give Thanks!
Watch Patti Herrington Tell Her Story
I was so blessed to join Jana Barazza on Joy In Our Town, which aires on TBN in Jackson MS. I was able to share how I overcame the traumatic images in my mind by calling upon the name of Jesus. If you are struggling with brokenness or trauma this program will encourage you.
Watch Patti on the Bridges Program –
Nashville TN with Host Monica Schmelter
How Do I Cope?
Patti has spoken on many talk shows and venues to encourage parents and students on how to cope with the tragedy of losing a loved one to suicide.
Do We Talk About Suicide?
Some people don’t want the youth to hear about suicide. This is the problem though, they already hear about it from Satan (the liar) all the time. He lies to many of them telling them their no good, worthless, useless human beings. He tells them they are losers, failures, ugly and no one likes you, no one wants you around. He tells them to kill themselves! We have an epidemic of cutters out there. This is the evidence that there is a problem. It is time to slay this giant! Please continue to pray for Firefly Ministries. We have got to be a light in this darkness. We need to speak life and truth to the youth. If you have someone struggling with depression in your life, be the light and tell them they are valuable and loved. Truth wins!