According to Biernesser et al. (2020), suicide is one of the leading causes of teenage deaths in the United States. One of the main factors contributing to the increased suicide cases among adolescents is social media use. Over the last ten years, the number of teens using social media has increased significantly. At the same time, the rate of suicide among teens has increased concurrently with the increase in social media usage among teens. Research studies have established a close link between social media use and suicide among teens. For example, according to Biernesser et al. (2020), social media use among teens is linked to mental health problems such as depression, which sheds light on why suicide incidents are prevalent among adolescents. Adolescents are still developing psychologically and emotionally and often find it challenging to deal with social media pressure, hate, bullying, and body shaming. As a result, when teens are exposed to hate, bullying, and body shaming on social media platforms, they are more likely to become stressed, depressed, and suicidal. Even though all teens are vulnerable to the negative effects of using social media platforms, girls are particularly vulnerable to social media hate, body shaming, and bullying (Biernesser et al., 2020). Since social media is contributing to the increased incidents of suicide among teens; hence it is necessary to ensure adolescents are protected from social media hate, bullying, and body shaming by limiting who can comment on their posts, timelines, coming up with suicide prevention programs specifically targeting adolescents with social media accounts, and maintaining an open dialogue with children.

Proposal on How Social Media Should Be Restricted Due To Teen Deaths

Social media platforms have become an important part of contemporary society due to their significance in providing entertainment content. In addition, social media platforms have made it possible to link and connect with close friends, relatives, and other people deemed appropriate. However, the harm social media is causing teens cannot be overlooked, and a solution is needed to ensure adolescents are protected from adverse effects associated with social media use. Social media users can see posts and comments from others, especially in public groups, individual timelines, and comment on specific posts. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that teens’ social media accounts are restricted to only allow specific people to comment, either in their posts or on their timelines.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow followers, friends, and other users to comment on posts. Most people use such an opportunity to spread hate and bully others, making the reader develop negative feelings, which are associated with stress and mental health problems (Munn 2020). Particularly, teens are vulnerable because they are yet to mature psychologically and emotionally. However, if teens’ social media accounts are restricted to ensure that no one can comment on their posts except allowed people, incidents of bullying, hate, and body shaming would reduce significantly. According to Parsons (2021), social media platforms such as Facebook have features that allow users to restrict certain people from commenting. The Facebook feature has been effective in preventing hate speech, which is linked to adverse effects on the reader. Therefore, teens need to restrict who can comment on their social media posts timelines to prevent incidents of bullying, hate speech, and body shaming, which are the leading cause of stress and depression among adolescents. Restricting their accounts will ensure that the adolescents have the power to control who can comment and what comments are acceptable based on their standards. In addition, the restriction would give account owners the ability to determine who can read and share their content.

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Also, there is a need to have suicide prevention programs spread across all social media platforms to prevent teens from committing suicide. Research studies have shown that suicide prevention programs are effective in preventing people from committing suicide. According to Thorn et al. (2020), suicide prevention programs give adolescents an opportunity to speak out, opening doors to receive help based on their problems. Inability to access help during suicide ideation is one of the main reasons teens commit suicide. Most adolescents get stressed and depressed, and instead of speaking, they keep their problems to themselves. As a result, the stress and depression episodes end up overwhelming them. However, research evidence shows that when teens get the opportunity to speak about suicide ideation, they develop the ability to overcome such thoughts, thus preventing suicide from happening. Thorn et al. (2020) noted that suicide prevention programs give adolescents a platform where they can share their secrets, psychological problems such as stress and depression, and a chance to meet professional counselors. Therefore, suicide prevention programs can potentially prevent teens from committing suicide due to the implications associated with using social media platforms.

Besides providing a platform to share their inner thoughts, the suicide prevention programs should also target teens’ psychological well-being. Research evidence shows that teens are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem when they use social media platforms to connect with their peers, schoolmates, and close friends. According to Jiotsa et al. (2021), teens are more likely to develop body image disorders due to social media use. Body image describes an individual perception of their body and is often characterized by their thoughts about their body appearance (Jiotsa et al., 2021). When teens use social media for whatever reasons, they tend to compare themselves with other teens who seem to have a “perfect” body size and shape. Even though the onset of body image obsessions may seem harmless, over an extended period of time can lead to chronic stress and depression, suicide ideation, and eventual suicide. Teens are vulnerable to low self-esteem, which subsequently lead to body image disorders.

However, suppose teens receive counseling services via suicide prevention programs. In that case, they will be in a position to develop self-esteem and acknowledge that it is okay to have a different body and a different kind of beauty. The goal in this context is to empower adolescents to appreciate who they are without over dwelling on the physical appearance of others, which can potentially lead to body image disorders. In addition, the program would provide an opportunity for teens to get empowered to remain positive about themselves and others around their social circle. Research studies show that it is necessary to counsel teens about the significance of maintaining high self-esteem to prevent the possibility of getting depressed due to social media use. According to Masselink et al. (2018), low self-esteem among teens is a predictor of depressive symptoms. However, if teens are provided with counseling services in suicide prevention programs, they will be empowered to overcome depressive incidents linked to social media use.

Finally, it is important to maintain an open dialogue with children about social media use to prevent suicide. Even though restricting who can comment on their platforms and linking teens with suicide prevention programs can significantly reduce the possibility of an adolescent committing suicide, it is crucial to create an environment that would encourage teens to speak their hearts. Parents and guardians are the only people in a position to ensure that teens can speak their minds without feeling judged. Therefore, parents and guardians have a duty to ensure there is open communication between them and their children to be in a position to note problematic behavior in children before hurting themselves. Research studies show that open communication between parents and children can create a conducive environment for healthy relationships with their caregivers, which is necessary for overcoming suicide ideation (State of Nevada, n.d.). For example, open communication helps parents form healthy relationships with their children, making it possible to share their innermost secrets.

Good relationships help teens feel trusted and understood by their parents, feelings that make them feel comfortable sharing issues affecting them, such as stress, low self-esteem, and depression. In addition, healthy relationships between parents and teens make it possible to advise adolescents, who are quite often overly emotional (State of Nevada, n.d.). Open communication between parents and teens would open opportunities for teens to speak their minds before hurting themselves. In addition, open communication and healthy relationships would make parents understand the importance of listening to their children before judging. One of the main reasons teens end up being stressed and depressed is their inability to share their feelings with their parents because they fear they will be judged or condemned. However, parents can listen to their teens’ troubled lives to provide life-changing advice and counseling when there is open communication and good relationships.


Social media usage among adolescents has increased significantly over the last ten years. At the same time, incidents of suicide have also increased among teens due to implications associated with social media use. Social media exposes teens to bullying, hate speech, and body shaming. As a result, most teens end up developing mental health problems such as depression and suicide ideation, and eventual suicide. It is necessary to have adolescent social media accounts restricted to control who can comment and post anything negative to address the problem. In addition, it is crucial to develop suicide prevention programs to give teens an opportunity to speak their minds. Other strategies that prevent teens from committing suicide include providing counseling services via suicide prevention programs and parents or guardians establishing open communication with teens.


Biernesser, C., Sewall, C. J., Brent, D., Bear, T., Mair, C., & Trauth, J. (2020). Social media use and deliberate self-harm among youth: A systematized narrative review. Children and Youth Services Review116, 105054.

Jiotsa, B., Naccache, B., Duval, M., Rocher, B., & Grall-Bronnec, M. (2021). Social media use and body image disorders: Association between frequency of comparing one’s own physical appearance to that of people being followed on social media and body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(6), 2880.

Masselink, M., Van Roekel, E., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2018). Self-esteem in early adolescence as predictor of depressive symptoms in late adolescence and early adulthood: The mediating role of motivational and social factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence47(5), 932-946.

Munn, L. (2020). Angry by design: toxic communication and technical architectures. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications7(1), 1-11.

Parsons, J. (2021, March 31). Facebook now lets you restrict comments on public posts. Metro.

State of Nevada. (n.d.). What can parents do to prevent youth suicide? Suicide Prevention.

Thorn, P., Hill, N. T., Lamblin, M., Teh, Z., Battersby-Coulter, R., Rice, S., … & Robinson, J. (2020). Developing a suicide prevention social media campaign with young people (The# Chatsafe project): co-design approach. JMIR Mental Health7(5), e17520.