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MySpace Suicide Epidemic Sweeps Nation, Worrying Parents, Educators, MySpace

Posted April 22, 2009

3 comments posted. Read them now.

The note was simple and direct: "I'm killing off my MySpace page," said Lucy_Twighlight_LOVR, a junior high school student in Topeka, Kansas. Her message was noticed by the school's nurse, whose daughter, who she totally has the kind of relationship where they can look at each other's MySpace page with, is friends with Lucy__Twighlight_LOVR. The nurse notified the school administration, which caused the school to go on lock down and immediately send Lucy__Twighlight_LOVR off for a psychological evaluation.

It could have been depression or stress from a pending history quiz, according to anonymous school officials, but they were able to talk Lucy_Twighlight_LOVR off the ledge. Many of her peers are not so lucky.

As social networking has become a greater part of daily life, so has the occasion of MySpace suicides, in which young, foolish users delete their accounts on MySpace.com. This rash of suicides has caused copycats, worrying parents, educators, and of course execs from the social networking site.

The brutal and swift pattern follows as a note then a delete, with only seconds between. There is no easy way to restore the individual's profile. "Teenagers really have no sense of mortality," said child psychologist Enid Blok. "They assume that just because they delete their account they can continue on in normal life. They go to Facebook, or perhaps hit the mall, unaware of the consequences of their actions. In any case, they leave behind a community of friends, loved ones and internet stalkers, all wondering what could have caused them to take this devastating step."

"These kids are throwing away their lives," said MySpace.com Chief Psychological Officer Chadwick Walker. "They're young, they just send out a note and press delete and it's over. They don't think about exactly what happens when a huge company loses much needed ad revenue in the tween-to-teen demographic."

If you suspect that your teenager or someone you know is considering deleting her MySpace account, there are several steps you can engage in to intervene. Suggest that you will help her install a new skin onto her profile, or that you'll stop logging in pretending to be her so you can hit on her friends.

 

 

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