13 reasons why

13 reasons why – after thoughts

I recently wrote about how I was binge watching TV and about the shows I was currently watching on Netflix, well one of those shows has just finished and it’s left me feeling rather emotional to say the least.

13 Reasons Why? is a series which follows the life events leading up to a teen girls suicide, originally a book of the same title written by Jay Asher.

Hannah Baker is a new girl within the high school, making friends in a new school can always be difficult especially when those friend circles have already been formed in previous school years but Hannah is an outgoing girl with a whole blank page in front of her – she has the chance to reinvent a whole new personality and she takes this chance in both hands.

The series starts with friends and family mourning the death of a seemingly popular girl but to really know the life that girl led you have to live in her shoes, to fully understand what happened to her to make her want to take her own life.

Hannah was troubled, a LOT happened to her in a very short space of time and these events singularly may not have been a trigger but added all together within a short time frame were enough to tip a vulnerable girl over the edge.

It’s a tale of needing to be more aware of what goes on behind closed doors, looking for the warning signs and being there for a friend when they need a shoulder or just need someone to be there.

Watching this show opened up many emotions, I remember being the girl on the outside looking in on many occasions desperate to fit in or to recreate a new version of myself. In secondary school I was never single after the 2nd year, as soon as one relationship ended another started immediately and for a while I began ‘that girl’. It’s so easy to become labelled by peers whether in a good or a negative way and once you are wearing that label it can be hard to shake.

This is the problem Hannah faced, an innocent event surrounding her first kiss set her up with a reputation of being ‘that girl’ and it spiralled from there. Others listened to the gossip, and it was assumed she was ‘easy’ and that was something which couldn’t escape from.

It is a very difficult watch, seeing all the events which led to her unhappiness go unnoticed and all her cries for help dismissed and pushed aside.

She called out for help on numerous occasions but those cries fell on deaf ears.

As difficult as it was to watch I do feel it is something all parents should actually sit through, to experience some of the events which their children could encounter so we have answers to the questions they may have and can discuss the consequences our actions have on others.

Hannah makes tapes, 13 tapes in total – these are one each for the people and events surrounding those people which lead up to her suicide. Each person hurt her and let her down in a very different way.

The events in this case are very extreme and not just your usual teen issues – they include suicide, rape and even death. But they do also include sex shaming, cyber bullying, peer pressure, drinking and drink driving.

These are issues which weren’t around while I was growing up – I didn’t have a mobile phone until I was 18 and started driving and even then they didn’t take pictures and certainly weren’t internet ready – it a changing world we live in, our children’s lives are so much different now – they live their lives on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and everything they do is so public – pictures taken can be shared in an instance, even ones they believe to be private can be screenshot and group shared. This is another thing which happened to Hannah – an innocent picture shared in a bid to shame her publicly.

Our poor children are growing up in such a cruel world where they need to be cautious of their every move, otherwise they can be judged, ridiculed and possibly shamed for it and it our responsibility to teach them how to protect themselves from this, teach them to be mindful of their actions and make them aware that their actions have repercussions.

We also have to be more open to talking to them about sensitive issues no matter how uncomfortable it makes them and us feel – after-all if they can’t talk honestly with their parents who do they then turn to in times of real need?

Some say that shows like this encourage suicide in young teens, I personally don’t think this to be the case as it does help them to see just how their actions affect those closest to them.  What do you think?

13 Reasons Why? Can be found on Netflix. Have you seen it yet?

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14 thoughts on “13 reasons why – after thoughts

  1. I’m not I could watch something like this! I do sometimes wonder if such programmes actually encourage suicidal thoughts or beliefs rather more than it discourages others from terrible behaviour and actions.

    1. I think it portrays well the feelings of those left behind which of course wouldn’t be seen by the person committing suicide.

  2. Gosh, I had heard of this series but I didn’t know anything about it. It sounds really gripping but so sad too. I agree that the world is such a different place for our kids and it is really scary to think how easily things can get out of control thanks to the internet and social media.

  3. I didn’t watch the series but my husband and some friends were gripped. It is good to have this kind of insight into a modern teenagers mind, even though this was fiction, I am sure lots of people can identify with her. It is a different world to the one we grew up in.

  4. I actually saw a review about this a few weeks ago, I don’t have Netflix, but have bought the DVD to watch, I’m fortunate that my player will play Region 1 DVDs as it’s not available in this country. I’m looking forward to finding the time to watch it now!

  5. I keep looking at it and wondering whether to watch it or not. As a mum of a son with severe depression it really scares the hell out of me. Maybe it would hep me understand a bit more than I already do. I’m going to give it a go x

  6. I have seen it advertised but just cannot bring myself to watch it. I don’t think it would encourage suicide though, I think that it might show people that there is help out there

  7. I watched this a while ago and I was glued to it. It was portrayed so well but made me really sad and want to keep my kiddies young forever so they dont have to endure how awful teenage life can be! It can be fun as well though but you know what I mean. Kids can be cruel

  8. I’ve started this and couldn’t really get into it so stopped. I’ll probably give it another try though as I sometimes wonder what to watch on Netflix.

    1. It took me a couple of episodes to get into too. I think it’s the switching from past to present which I struggled with

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