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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I like following Jeffree Star on social media because he creates high-quality makeup while also being entertaining.”

—Female, 21, FL

Millennials are more likely to talk politics at work than their parents. A new study from Peakon has revealed that despite the highly-tense political climate, most Americans are actually comfortable discussing politics at work. Millennials are the most comfortable, with 68% stating they feel “no discomfort” talking about the topic, compared to 62% of 55-64-year-olds. According to Peakon, the internet has encouraged Millennials to “shar[e] their opinions everywhere—on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc.,” and their desire for a “more transparent” workplace is also likely driving the trend. (Elite Daily

Honest Company is taking their diapers to the Major Leagues. In a partnership with MLB, the company is launching a “Born a Fan” collection in Target that will offer personal care products, household cleaners, and diapers with logos from six teams: the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Cardinals, and Dodgers. The brand hopes to tap into “hardcore” baseball fans with the venture, but according to one expert, it may end up being more of a novelty: “It[’ll be] fun to do once in a while. But ultimately parents know diaper performance, and they buy the best.” (Adweek

Aspiring musicians have found a home—and a lot of money—on emerging live streaming spaces. Not only do live stream apps, like YouNow and Live.ly, give up-and-coming music acts the chance to build up large fan bases, but the addition of virtual tip jars has become a lucrative channel of revenue for some, even eliminating the need to do IRL performances or sell recordings. Brent Morgan, a 29-year-old musician, is finding his way into the industry by broadcasting twice a day on YouNow, where he’s making between $15,000-$20,000 a month. (The Wall Street Journal

Asian-Pacific kids would choose internet over TV if they had to pick. TotallyAwesome’s APAC Kids Market Insights report found that 77% of six-14-year-olds in the Asia-Pacific region would prefer to use the internet exclusively versus just TV—an 11% increase from the year before. In five out of the seven countries surveyed, children are more likely to have access to smartphones than TV, but both TV and smartphones are the most popular devices used daily, with 60% using them multiple times a day, versus 44% who use tablets daily. (Kidscreen

Virtual reality is getting a “first-of-its-kind” animated family series. Raising a Rukus, created by Virtual Reality Company, follows the story “of two siblings and their mischievous pet dog Ruckus, who are traveling to different worlds and have magical adventures together.” VRC describes the experience as “watching a Pixar short—except that you are immersed in it.” The series will be available through headsets and in theaters, first in Canada and then North America later this summer. (Variety

Quote of the Day: “My favorite brand to follow on social media is Urban Outfitters because not only do they post about items I am interested in, but I also get inspired by the artistic photos that they post.”—Female, 16, CA

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