Indian parents woke up to a rude shock when the news of a 14-year-old teenager from Andheri committing suicide caught fire.
The incident has been associated with the Blue Whale Challenge which is an internet game said to be originated in Russia. It consists of a series of tasks allocated to the players by the admin over 50 days, each task needs to be documented in a photograph with the final challenge being the player committing suicide.
The term “Blue Whale” comes from the phenomenon of beached whales, which is linked to suicide. Source- Wikipedia
The tragic news left me startled and while the authorities probe whether or not is the Blue Whale Challenge linked to the teenager’s suicide, it worries me that suicide is suddenly being normalised in the minds of young adults.
We all remember how about two months ago Franco Alonso Lazo Medrano from Peru, a 23-year-old guy committed suicide by imitating the popular show 13 Reasons Why. Like the protagonist of the show, Hannah Baker, he too left behind tape recordings with a note of instructions including the names of the people who were to receive the tapes. According to him these were the people who caused him to commit suicide.
These tragic incidents make me question have blue whale and Hannah Baker made suicide easy? Has the consumption of media normalising suicide created a learnt behaviour in the minds of many?
While the show probably intended to sensitise people towards ill effects of bullying or make them more objective towards someone before making a statement, it also opened doors to a dark side which saw a surge in suicide methods search on Google.
P.S: Although it is impossible and impractical for one to track another person’s media consumption, as people with co-existing human relations, it is important for us to listen and talk because for all you know you might be saving someone from a negative thought. Until next time, Stay Positive, #Stay Curious 🙂