If one has been on any form of social media in the past month, he or she has no doubt seen advertisement for the newly released Netflix TV series “13 Reasons Why.” The show is about a teenage girl in high school, named Hannah Baker, that takes her own life, and creates 13 tapes that she left behind to explain why. Essentially, she uses these tapes to blame 13 people for her suicide. That is what brings me to my first point - the show enforces that suicide is basically always someone's fault. It is obviously wrong to bully another, but this should never be taken as a direct cause of death. If one decides to do something as serious and unchangeable as taking their own life, there is definitely more going on in their mind and/or life.
Through these tapes, Hannah Baker was empowered over the people that hurt her. Many people struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts may take this as an incentive to harm themselves. While the show does raise awareness about the severity of not only actions, but also words, in my opinion, it glorifies drama, depression, and suicide at the same time. After watching the show, teens could be given ideas that influence how they handle their problems and emotions.
Within the show, Hannah Baker also exemplifies and embellishes many things that happen to her. With this exposure, viewing teens may begin to do the same. Many adolescents enjoy the show because they feel they relate to it, however, this can further make them believe the way they are feeling is normal. Even though silence is never the option, teens are susceptible to contagion, meaning their risk of attempting suicide may increase after watching someone else do it. It could distance themselves from getting the help they need. Of course, some reasons were more serious than others, but many reasons were issues that everyone deals with in their life. She overreacted and misread many situations, but the show failed to depict that.
By attempting to create entertainment out of such a serious topic, I believe the show has come across as over dramatic and excessive. While it does address the concerns behind bullying, sex, drugs, alcohol, and suicide, in my opinion, it is for the sole purpose of entertaining the audience, and not helping the audience. Topics such as these need to be better advocates to the cruel, materialized world that young people live in.