Is Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' informative or dangerous? | The Tylt
"13 Reasons Why" has been highly controversial since it premiered in March 2017. The Netflix series which follows a young man who tries to uncover what drives his high school crush to commit suicide has been confirmed for a third season. Studies have shown the show has had an impact on teen suicide attempts. But some fans of the show say it does the complete opposite and reminds viewers that taking your own life is never the answer. Do you think the show is problematic?
Is Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' informative or dangerous?
A study conducted by the University of Michigan shows "13 Reasons Why," could possibly increase teen suicide. The study was comprised of mostly young women who identify with the main character, Hannah Baker, who commits suicide at the beginning of the series. The teens who admitted to suffering from depression claim to feel more depressed as they watch the show. According to BuzzFeed:
The teenagers observed in the study reported that they experienced an increase in sadness, depression, distress, and anxiety while watching the show.
Dr. Victor Hong was the lead researcher on the show and said producers of the show should be more thoughtful. He told BuzzFeed:
“Can we be a little bit more cautious, or a little bit more thoughtful, about the content that we’re putting out to teenagers? “I believe that a lot of these producers are consulting mental health experts, what I am not sure of is if they are actually heeding their recommendations,” said Hong.
But fans of the show have strong feelings about its message. Fans on Twitter have admitted to suffering from depression say the show has prevented them from hurting themselves.
And according to a study reported by Philly.com, "13 Reasons Why" may reduce the risk of suicide for those who watch the show to the end:
...a study released Wednesday found students who watched the entire second season were less likely to purposely injure themselves or seriously consider suicide — even when compared with those who did not watch the show.
“They were actually better off than if they hadn’t watched it,” said Dan Romer, coauthor of the study and research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.