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13 Reasons Why: Thoughts?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

Netflix’s Original “13 Reasons Why” is the new show in the news. It is based on the book written by Jay Asher and co-produced by actress Selena Gomez. The show is about a high school student Hannah Baker who gives reasons why she killed herself.

The show was great and very entertaining. It got me worried about humanity. But it was a good watch with its suspense and thrills. The show teaches us to be nice to people because we do not know what others are going through. We should not wait for a show to teach us how to be nice.

Many critiques are saying that the show had an important message about suicide, but it was an incomplete message.

“13 Reasons Why” showed Hannah undergoing bullying, trauma and depression; but, it didn’t show what ways Hannah could have overcome. According to critiques, the show appeared as if there was no hope for Hannah once she experienced the series of events. I personally think that solutions to suicidal thoughts could have been brought up either indirectly during the show or directly at the end of the show. Selena Gomez strongly believes that life can get better after a mental illness, which is an inspiration for Project Semicolon. The movement is powerful and important. It could have been shared at the end of the show.

Other critiques say that the show can cause a suicide contagion. It may encourage copycat suicides. I took a Communications Ethics class last semester where I learnt about reporting on suicides. It is a sensitive matter and should be handles carefully, if not it may increase suicidal thoughts in vulnerable individuals.  The executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) worries that the show glamorizes death, as Hannah was able to tell her story after she passed away. This could do more harm to vulnerable viewers.

Suicide is never an option. If you or anyone you know are showing signs (http://reportingonsuicide.org/recommendations/) of suicide, calm the down and talk to someone. Do not be afraid to seek medical help because there are so many people who care about you and love you. You matter. We all matter. 

I am a junior at the University of South Florida. I am specializing in Public Relations while pursuing certificates in Business and Visualization & Design. I hope to one day combine all of these and pursue law in the entertainment and even branch out to other passions in family law. While I am studying to achieve these dreams, I have furthered my collection of coffee cups and obsession with caffeine. I currently work as a barista and love to whip up new ideas, whether it be actual coffee creations or branding ideas. My other hobbies include enjoying short walks to the movies and my computer. This is usually to catch up on the latest and greatest shows. If it's not film, it is music. I love the thrill of listening to live music of my favorite and new bands. These inspire me to discover my individuality and brand, while challenging myself to help others find theirs.