We’re on the fifth day of my countdown of the 13 ways I, as an NYC therapist who works with teens, think the Netflix drama series 13 Reasons Why expands the conversation on teens and mental health:
5. Social media as a weapon
In the series, social media becomes the weapon of choice. For example, Hannah kisses a classmate Courtney, a moment, which was, unbeknownst to them, caught in a photograph. After the photo is posted on social media and circulated through the school, they both feel so exposed that Courtney shuts Hannah out as a means of protecting herself. In my teen therapy practice, I see a lot of teens similarly trying to grapple with the reality of social media, which sometimes feels more real than our day-to-day relationships. It hits so deeply, in particular, because teens can revisit the photo, message or thread. Social media doesn’t sleep or rest–it is relentless.