Back in the 19th century when I started school, a “cutter” was somebody who skipped (“cut”) class. Boy were we naïve.
YouTube videos illustrating cutting, burning and other methods of self-injury may have an impact beyond the online world in normalizing and possibly even reinforcing the behaviour among viewers, a new Canadian study suggests.
Researchers…looked at depictions of non-suicidal self-injury, or NSSI, on the popular video-sharing website. NSSI is described as the deliberate destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent. Researchers found cutting was the most common form of self-injury, followed by embedding of objects under the skin and burning. Hitting, biting, skin picking and wound interference were also observed, albeit less frequently.
[Researchers] said individuals typically seeking out such content online may have a history of self-injury. – ctvNews
Aah, these crazy cuddly kids today. No longer content to starve themselves, ink their skins like octopus wrestlers, or puncture their eyelids/lips/nipples/navels/dicktips/clits (did I leave something out? Don’t tell me), now they’re slicing, dicing, and shredding themselves, and embedding pointed objects under their skin. All for love. Or at least attention.
Well, they’re certainly attracting attention. So do train wrecks, fit-pitchers, and flashers.
Fortunately for those inclined to self-mutilation, there are plenty of instructional materials on teh interwebs, so that even adolescent amateurs can get it right the first time. No longer do self-destructive children need to rely on the advice of peers whose gory wounds they admire and wish to emulate, if not top. This is what 21st century technology has made possible. The future has arrived – isn’t it even more dazzling than you imagined it would be? Although I’m still waiting for my flying car.
Even better, trends like these now sweep the nation in record time, and include all demographics. Everyone can be one of the cool kids, and, researchers assure us, it’s already documented:
Wendy Lader, a psychologist and co-founder of S.A.F.E. Alternatives, a U.S. treatment program for self-injurers, is concerned about the possible negative impact such content may have on viewers.
“We know in the field that there is something called contagion, that when people know of or see other people who have used this technique — and it seems to`work for them,’ help them to feel better or it looks like it’s something that’s cool for some reason — that other people will try it,” she said…..”So I don’t think there’s any question that this can lead other people to self-injure.”
Yes, that’s right, it’s all about feeling better about yourself, not just looking your best.
Remember when an adolescent’s biggest problem was zits, and teachers handed out detentions for chewing gum in class?
No, neither do I.