After hearing about a disturbing Netflix TV series called 13 Reasons Why, I decided to try watching it. In a nutshell, the show is about a teen girl who suddenly commits suicide, leaving a package of tapes to each person who is a reason why she killed herself. She leaves instructions to each recipient of the tapes: each person who receives a package needs to completely listen to all the tapes, and then that person must pass along the package to the next person. If anyone breaks the chain, a separate set of tapes will be released to the public.
So tonight, I watched two episodes, and it’s clear how bad bullying can be with kids in real life. Everyone at some point gets bullied in school, but the extreme cases can and do result in suicide and lasting ramifications on people’s lives and psyches. I realize that this is all fiction, but I can also see how real it can be. In a lot of ways, and maybe it’s because I was confident from an earlier age than average, but I never really got bullied in middle or high school. I was always school or journalism obsessed, always studying. Going to an academic high school, I feel like I may have been shielded from a lot of the usual sex, drugs, and alcohol abuse, bullying, and popularity contests that the average American high school has. And maybe it was a good thing because I don’t know how I would handle even a fraction of what’s in this show.