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An American girl’s journey into the darkness of the internet

An American girl's journey into the darkness of the internet

An American girl’s journey into the darkness of the internet

C is still a teenager in 4th grade so he often finds ways to relieve himself on the internet like making friends online, constantly posting selfies.

“If I was born in the Alps in 2000 BC, I still suffer from depression, but the current living environment makes it more difficult,” said C., 22, of Chalt City.

C often lies in bed after midnight with her iPod Touch, surfing social media and sharing photos. Many people praised the young woman’s photo. But it was accompanied by salacious comments and pictures of queer men.

“I do not know what happened. What do you do when someone sends you offensive pictures in a text message? Nothing, just ignore it,” Si said.

Not at the Denver concert.  Photo: NY Times

Not at the Denver concert. See: New York Times

For free. The internet started working on C’s psyche. She became depressed and searched for friends online and even learned how to self-harm.

“I don’t want to blame the internet, but I would definitely say it’s the internet,” Si said.

Before Covid-19, the mental health status of many teenagers was significantly reduced, but now it is becoming a serious crisis affecting many young people. This trend is due to the increasing amount of time teenagers are spending online. Social media is cited as the main burden. Sep 2021. The Wall Street Journal. Post a Facebook poll that found 40% of female Instagram users feeling confident and unattractive compared to what they see on the platform.

The reality is more complicated. Many studies show that communicating in the virtual world has strong positive and negative effects depending on each person’s mental state. “The Internet is both a catalyst and an amplifier,” says Byron Reeves, Professor of Communications at Stanford University (USA).

Despite a large network of friends on the Internet, young people increasingly feel lonely. Some studies show that teenagers who spend more time online are less happy.

C grew up in a middle-class family and showed musical talent from an early age. However, the girl’s family had mental health problems. “I started puberty in elementary school. Suddenly my brain was working 20 times faster on dark things,” Si recalls.

At the age of 10, he joined C Mini Nation, an online community to make friends but to find himself being bullied. C didn’t tell his parents because he was afraid his iPod would be taken away from him. “It’s my only connection to the outside world,” said C.

Cases of self-mutilation are increasing every day. “Self-harm is like taking a break. I cut my arm, watch YouTube, take a break and cut myself,” recalls C.

C. was hospitalized for a week after a classmate reported the injury to her hand to the teacher. The doctor prescribed him medication and discharged him from the hospital. The C family moved to Wyoming hoping for a fresh start, but challenges remained.

According to a 2018 study, social media is a double-edged sword, and while it opens new networks of support, it generates hostility among teenagers. “Thousands of hate messages are being sent out immediately,” said Gary Harper, a professor at the University of Michigan.

After much pain and introspection, C’s relationship with the Internet undergoes a major shift. When she turned 18 at the age of 15, she was hospitalized for a week or more. “How can you think things will get better as your brain gets older, but you’re acting like a kid. And there is depression. It makes me feel like I don’t want to live,” said C.

At the second hospital, C met with a psychiatrist and spoke about his past online abuse. “It was the first time since I was 10 that I publicly admitted that spending time online was not good for my health,” Si recalls. She gradually emerged from the “dark zone” of the Internet.

Earlier this year, C completed his PhD in Linguistics and Hearing Sciences. She is also a singer, songwriter and plays in a band. “Now I feel like I have a life and I follow the music, I’m not a girl that others can see on the internet. I feel like I’m in control of my life,” said C.

diving ann (Consequences New York time)

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