The Influence of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Chat room, Blogs, Texting, and
Webcams on Suicide and Mood Disorders
The Internet provides a space where you can be anyone you want to be without
that initial fear of rejection or anxiety about being judged. Some websites also create
ways to network with others, such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These sites are
intended to allow people to reconnect with people from their past, meet new people by
social networking, share ideas, and perhaps even meet a romantic partner. However,
these sites can also be used for negative reasons, such as bullying, teasing, attacking,
harassing, harming, abusing, and torturing others.
Celizic (2009, March 6) discussed how 18-year-old Jesse Logan from Ohio sent nude
pictures of herself to her boyfriend via text message. This is also referred to as “sexting,
which is sending sexually charged material via cell phone text messages or posting such
materials online” (p. 1). After Jesse and her boyfriend broke up, he forwarded the nude
pictures on to several other high school girls who taunted her every day calling her
names like “whore” and “slut.” Jesse’s mother revealed that her daughter was being
teased and tormented every day. Celizic (2009, March 6) reported that, “45% of the
boys say that they’ve seen sexual images of girls in their school, and about 15% of them
are disseminating those images when they break up with the girls” (p. 2). The teasing
and harassment eventually became too much for Jessica Logan. She eventually
committed suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom.
Madkour (2008) reported that Abraham Biggs, a 19-year-old Broward college student
from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, broadcasted himself in front of a live webcam, hosted by
Justin.tv, committing suicide by taking a drug overdose. Madkour (2008) further
mentioned that Abraham Biggs “died from a combination of opiates and
benzodiazepines, which his family said was prescribed for his bipolar disorder (p. 1).
Authorities are not quite sure exactly how many viewers witnessed the tragedy.
Answer the following questions:
1. After reviewing these cases, what is your initial reaction?
2. What precautions or safety measures if any could be set in place to prevent
these tragedies from happening in the future?
3. Do you feel the Internet provides more sources of good or evil?
4. Reflect on the adolescent years and even young adulthood as one is entering
college. What may put adolescents more at risk to these comments or criticism from
others on the Internet some of whom they have never met in person?
5. What impact does this have on not only the mental health of the victim , but
also the aggressor?
Celizic, M. (2009, March 6). TODAY Show. Her teen committed suicide over ‘sexting’. Retrieved
on September 20th, 2009, from
Madkour, R. (2008, November 28). MSNBC, The Associated Press. Report: Teen commits suicide
online. Retrieved on September 20th, 2009, from