The “joke” of a generation

Suicide has become a joke among teens and it is extremely worrying.

Téa Schmid, Design Editor

It seems like it’s impossible to be in a group of generation z/millennials without hearing the phrase “I want to kill myself.” It’s heard in conversations about school, friendships, and just life in general. This phrase, however, is taken very lightly by many who say it. It is a joke — nothing more. The overuse of suicide jokes in our generation has gone past funny and has now become concerning. It is impossible to tell the difference between those who mean it and those who don’t.

Suicide is not a subject to be taken lightly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death of youth ages 10-24. They also reported that 16% of high school students have seriously considered suicide, 13% had a plan, and 8% made an attempt in the following year. About 157,000 youth ages 10-24 are sent to the emergency room due to self-inflicted injuries a year.

Recently, however, many teens have been using suicidal phrases as coping mechanisms for their mental state — especially when posting online. As a teenager myself, I am guilty of using this phrase meaninglessly. It is easy to get swept up in the mob mentality that is social media. Suicide jokes are everywhere and impossible to navigate around. “It’s so common nowadays,” says Kendall Stucky (‘20). Unfortunately, this “coping mechanism” puts a person in a very unhealthy mindset. The more it is said, the more it resonates.

Suicide is anything but a joke. While our society by nature over exaggerates our pain, joking about taking your own life has crossed the line. “It’s not a funny thing to talk about because it’s a serious thing,” says Chloe Nolan (‘21). We as a generation need to clean up our act and remember the seriousness behind our words — not everything is a joke.