Technology Tuesday: 13 Reasons Why All Over Again

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Season 2 was just announced.  It will be released on Netflix on May 18.  The preview is every bit as provocative looking as the past season, shrouded in mystery and Polaroid photos.  These folks know how to bring their A game with all of the best teenage-angst/alluring/trendy means possible to build hype for this show that took the teenage world by storm last spring.  

In case you missed it, 13 Reasons Why was the television show we heard more kids talking about in our offices than any other show in 2017…maybe than any other television show ever before.  Here’s the Season 1 highlights you need to know.

  1. It’s about a teenager who takes her own life.
  2. She sends cassette tapes to 13 individuals who are the “reasons why.”
  3. The last episode of the season includes a very graphic scene with her committing suicide by slashing her arms.
  4. There are 2 different rape scenes contained in season 1.
  5. The teenagers regularly use substances and engage in risk-taking behavior.
  6. The adults in the show are largely disconnected and incompetent to help, including the school counselor, who is portrayed more as a detriment to the mental health of the students than a benefit.
  7. It’s the show I have heard more kids talk about in 25 years counseling than any other show.  Kids as young as 4th grade.
  8. We saw an onslaught of kids, in the weeks after the show was released, who either contemplated or attempted to take their own lives.  There is a phenomenon called suicide contagion.  You can read more about it in the link below.
  9. We were behind the 8-ball last time.  And we don’t need to be behind it again.

Not much is known about Season 2 yet, although it purports to tell more of Hannah’s story and bring to light more details regarding the sexual assaults in Season 1.  The show has said that they are including more warnings of the graphic nature of the content contained in specific episodes, and give information as to what to do if the content is triggering for any viewers.  The problem is that the viewers will already be triggered.  Our viewers.  The kids we love and work so hard to protect, or at least guide in ways that bring them to good and hopeful things, in a culture that is sometimes anything but.  And I’m not sure that warnings do a great deal to stop impulsive teenagers from clicking through the next Netflix episode.

So, if you have a pre-teen or teenager, or even if you have a child in later elementary school, please read this blog post before the show comes out, and before you make a decision as to whether you plan to allow your teenager to watch Season 2.

And please share this link with them.  It still matters.  Their lives matter.  There are more than 13 reasons why.  We need to keep reminding them every day, and more than ever before in light of the culture surrounding and bombarding the kids we love.