In the last year 17 young people in Bridgend have committed suicide, and such a cluster is, unsurprisingly, getting the interest of the press. Possibly more surprising is the interest that is being given to social networking sites. For the most part it has been mentioned as an aside, i.e., the youngsters were members of the social networking site Bebo, although it seems that certain newspapers are beginning to build up a head of steam…and it’s not surprising that the Daily Express is beginning to look like one of the first to lose the plot.
Today the Daily Express have roped in ‘psychologist and novelist’ (alternatively “writer, psychotherapist, and media commentator”) Lucy Beresford to explain how:
“What could be going on is that adolescents are sharing and describing experiences on the internet…People of this age tend to be very imitative…The experiences they describe are toxic, rather than in my day when you might be influenced by magazines like Smash Hits.”
Yes, in my day the world was full of balloons, chocolate, candy floss, little puppies, and butterflies, and it has all gone to hell since the demise of Smash Hits and the rise of means of communication that allow us to share our ‘toxic’ feelings.
I am expecting a follow-up that proves that:
1) social networking sites killed Princess Diana*
2) social networking sites encourage immigration to the UK by lazy benefit cheats
*nb. Princess Diana dies in 1997, the same year as sixdegrees.com was launched…spooky.