The Social Network of Self-Harm

Amidst the call-to-action for issues such as bullying, texting and driving, and substance abuse among teens lies an issue that remains hidden in social network feeds and under sweatshirt sleeves: self-harm. In a group of ten teens, at least one is self-harming, whether through eating disorders or physical injury. We know what these behaviors look like—cutting, starving, purging, criticizing—but more than one-fourth of young adults consciously avoid talking about these subjects and one in six parents of teens admit to avoiding the topic of mental illness. Though teens and parents share age-old experiences of adolescent angst, previous generations were without the constant barrage of images from the internet of physical (albeit Photoshopped) perfection, pro-ana websites, and self-injury how-to forums. The dark side of the internet promotes these activities and sets a grave stage for Millennials to escape from external pressures.
 
Millennial author Anna Caltabiano’s dystopian novel All That Is Red has gained recognition for giving a voice to self-harming teens and a glimpse at how for some “the intimate euphoria of pain can sometimes be all we have to remind us that we are alive.” The book is not meant to be autobiographical, but the adventure story integrates the topics of self-harm and isolation through the trials of its young female heroine. In writing All That Is Red, Anna set out to battle the stigma surrounding self-harm, an issue that is “always there, not just in the United States, but all over the world and we as a society still feel like it isn’t acceptable to discuss it.”

Caltabiano describes self-harm as “inflicting pain on yourself just to concentrate on this one thing you can control,” both feeding and numbing the isolation that teens feel in an increasingly fragmented…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “This year for Halloween I’m going to watch cooking theme shows like Halloween Wars.” –Female, 15, TX 

Millennials are clearly disenchanted with politics. When a recent poll asked who they blame the “political gridlock” in Washington on, 56% of 18-29-year-olds said “all of them.” These young consumers are also more likely to volunteer than to vote in the midterm elections. Interestingly, of the small percentage who say they definitely will vote, 51% said they would vote Republican, versus 47% who said they would vote Democrat. (The Atlantic)

It seems that more kids than ever have allergies these days, and for these ingredient-sensitive children, trick-or-treating can be less fun. (Imagine handing over the majority of your candy at the end of the night? No thanks.) This year, The Teal Pumpkin Project is campaigning to raise awareness about these allergies: houses displaying a teal pumpkin signal to trick-or-treaters that nonfood treats are being handed out. Since launching on Facebook earlier this month, the campaign has “reached more than 5.5 million people and been shared 55,000 times,” and over 2,000 pictures on Instagram have been tagged #TealPumpkinProject. (Inc.)

R.L. Stine’s scary Goosebumps and Fear Street series delighted and terrified tons of ‘90s kids, and the author has given these nostalgic consumers a Halloween treat. For the third year in a row, Stine has written an entirely new horror story on Twitter in a series of 15 tweets. The story, “What’s In My Sandwich,” has spread far beyond his 134,000 followers, and is being reposted around the web. (JezebelBuzzfeed)

Marketing on visual social platforms—Snapshot Marketing— has very quickly become an essential way to reach young consumers, and now it’s being put in motion: as of today, Instagram video ads are live. Disney, Activision, Banana Republic, the CW, and Lancome are the first brands to purchase these 15-second auto-display spots on the network. Disney and Activision are both featuring clips from recent entertainment, while Banana Republic has utilized Hyperlapse to create a clip animating fashion sketches. Meanwhile, Snapchat sold its first video ad to Universal this month for the movie Ouija, which went on to win at the box office thanks to teens. (Adweek)

Since launching in 2011, Hello Giggles has not only earned 12 million unique views a month and a very healthy social following, it has also become "an incubator for young talent.” The site emphasizes positivity and girl power, and has built a community of over 600 young female writers, journalists, and creatives who both submit work to the site and support it on Instagram and Twitter. Giggles serves as somewhat as a resume for these women, many of whom have not yet entered the workforce. (Fast Company)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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