Self-abuse has become a ‘norm’ for teenagers today. The surrounding statistics are on the rise, and the age of which young people are starting, what for some turns into an addiction, is lowering and lowering.
The trending hashtag #Cut4Zayn is ‘flooding social media’ sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the moment - 22 year old Zayn Malik left the very popular band One Direction, which has resulted in thousands of (mostly) teenage girls to begin self harming – some quite severely, cutting words like, ‘Come back Zayn’ or ‘We need you Zayn’ in their arms – and posting pictures of their arms/legs etc. on social media with #Cut4Zayn as the comment, or using hashtags similar such as #Cut41D.
The hashtag has been used 90,000 times on Twitter already, even though he only split from the band a few short days ago. Over the last couple of years, there have been a few other hashtags used by thousands that have encouraged and advertised self harm, for example #cuttingforbieber spread through social media very quickly when Justin Bieber was spotted and photographed smoking marijuana, as a form of protest that he stop smoking.
The fact this has gone so viral on social media is the worst thing that could happen – 90,000 have Tweeted #Cut4Zayn, and on average each user has 208 followers… Which with a little simple Maths means OVER 18 MILLION people have read/seen these posts… And I know for young people, being ‘out of the loop’, or not ‘with the trend’ feels pretty awful – so what do you think a young girl, after seeing 10 of her friends post pictures or write about their cutting for Zayn, would do?
It is quite incredible, and equally shocking, that such trends can spread so quickly. It is difficult to accept just how normalized self-harm has become for young people, and this is just one example of how shocking and destructive it can be when society doesn’t come together and put an end to such an epidemic.
What is particularly surprising, is that these young people know exactly how to get the most attention possible… In the sense that after Zayn left One Direction, on their own they managed to make the newspapers, and through the social media medium their message has certainly been heard loud and clear by Zayn and the band themselves.
Go back 30 or 40 years – when a band broke up what was the response? Of course I’m sure there was a fair share of teenagers who cried over their posters and reminisced over old albums, but nowhere NEAR the amount of youths that have self-harmed, abused themselves or attempted suicide since Zayn’s leave. A young man’s choice to change his career path is not even a close enough reason to warrant one teenager self-harming, let alone the thousands that have recently.
It really needs to be questioned and looked at why the first reaction for so many teenagers has been to cut their wrists, arms or legs… How on earth did we get to a place where this is okay?
Although there has been many news articles about the #Cut4Zayn/#Cut41D trend – what’s being put in place for young people? Have parents sat their daughters or sons down and spoken to them about it? Because it really is up to them to make the change; to themselves, stop seeing self harm as normal, and begin influencing their children and others to feel the same way too.
Recent news articles, videos, blogs etc. about young people and teenagers. It's amazing how much we don't know about what's going on for youth worldwide... This page will help you find out more about your age group or what people your age are making/writing.