13 Reasons why you need to watch 13 reasons why

“13 Reasons Why” the show produced and distributed by Netflix has stirred controversy while telling the story of a young teenager who commits suicide. The word itself makes us all cringe. It is not just a term, it means the end of a life in the worst way possible. It is not an accident, it is not a crime at someone else’s hands, it is not natural… How can we make ourselves watch a story that in itself already poses a very sad ending, regardless of any positive outcome there may be?

courtesy of Netflix

Well… Here go 13 Reasons Why

  1. It is REAL This is not one of those shows where teenagers and adults have separate stories, or where you see parental relationships in the background. The characters, much like people in real life, coexist and interact. Kids will see their parents struggle and parents will see a world that they might feel extreme; but it is sadly the every day scenario for children and teenagers worldwide.
  2. Every ACTION has a REACTION. Newton has it right. Every thing we do online and offline has an impact. When you mistreat other people, they get all sorts of mental and physical reactions to it. Everywhere from depression, agressive behaviors, withdrawal, addictions, or mere personality traits that are developed. Our parents focus on work sometimes makes them absent. Our kids personalities and interests separate them from us. And what we do or do not do makes an impact on others.
  3. Our PERCEPTION of the world is shaped by many things. Even though our parents might have developed a set of values, interests, and behaviors; the world has an influence on us. The media, parents, society, teachers, and even marketers shape our minds, and our perceptions of the world and what it has to say about us. Remember that teenagers feel things more… things are bigger, more complicated, or better and more exciting. Do not underestimate their emotions and do not neglect when something about them or their friends “just doesn’t feel right”.
  4. It takes a VILLAGE to raise a child. The world and its complexity does not allow for a single parent to take care of a child. It never has before. Even single parents in the past had a reliable babysitter, co-parent, family member or neighbor to help them out. Some kids were practically raised by their friend’s parents. Children need that, now more than ever before. They need true, active, engaging adults who can guide them, but who can also team up to let other parents know things they do not see. But they also need true friends to stand beside them. Yes teens, this is YOUR job too. The show helps us see how kids and teens are not developing serious friendships. They do not talk about what truly bothers them, becoming party buddies, but not connecting in more depth.
  5. The world needs more EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. We are all in need of handling our emotions, and therefore how we react to them. Bullying is not new, but it is faster, and bigger than before. Sadness and feelings of inadequacy during our teenage years, have been part of our human story. And to some extent, that lack of conformity with the world and society helps us improve it, and develops leaders that will make it better. But we have developed societies that want to be trouble-free, stress-free, sugar-free, and not deal with the reality of the world. We cannot erradicate problems, but we can learn how to deal with them. People die, they get hurt, they succeed; but how do we react to those facts? Who is taking on the responsibility of developing emotionally healthy children and adults? People who become capable of experiencing sadness without taking pills; who may feel angry or frustrated, without attacking others; who have fun and enjoy life, without having to take alcohol or drugs or huge adrenalyne rushes. No pity party here, we need to step up and stop venting through social media posts.
  6. There is such a thing as too much FREEDOM. We overdid it. We knew it was needed, and systems were too restrictive in the past, but we overdid it. Children and teenagers cannot do everything they can or want to do. Any eight-year old could probably operate a car, computer, and even some sophisticated tools or devices. However, we don’t give eight-year olds permission to drive. They could, and they most likely want to, but there’s way too much in stake for them to do it. We need to rethink restrictions. Brands and platforms need to reassess their marketing and terms of service. Maybe a parent’s permit? Maybe a joint account until they turn 16? You might hate the idea, but just remember how much character was built when you had to call your friend’s house and ask for them, or convince your parents you were able to drive a car.
    courtesy of Netflix
  7. Schools need to ADJUST. The school systems have certain responsibility to evolve with the times. It is truly unfair to put the burden of our children’s future on their backs only, but they do have to step up. Children should not be allowed to HAVE their devices during class. We need to allow children and teenagers to live their developmental stages fully, and challenge them through knowledge. Even adults have trouble overcoming the excess use of technology and social media, so… Why are we holding children to a higher standard of self-control and behavior when we cannot control our own screen-time or technology dependence? We have classes to use computers, word processors, programming, and even robot building! But we are not preparing kids to use social media and digital technology wisely, and someone has to. Teachers need to know and understand what happens in social media, and must also lead by example in the use of the new technologies for constructive and positive outcomes.
  8. SOCIAL MEDIA is not a fad. The big platforms and apps are not just part of a trend, and they are not just for kids and teens with nothing better to do. They are tools that will develop our interaction with the world, our employees, colleagues, and community. Social media can no longer be dismissed as something trivial where people waste their time. Yes, new social platforms and digital applications are developed all the time, and we do not know if Facebook will ever turn into something else or disappear. What we do know, is that once Facebook, Google, and YouTube became household names, they also became worldwide used tools. Things did get serious, and they will stay that way.
  9. It IS OUR problem. Suicide, depression, bullying, and everything going on with young people nowadays is our problem. We can no longer dismiss it and blame it on absent parents or a twisted education system. Even if those things do have a big responsibility, we cannot change them. There is no policy or system that can stop a young kid from typing the wrong word in a search engine. There is no law enforcer who can get into the mind of a teenager and stop him or her from live streaming something terrible. We are all around them. We are their friends, family, neighbors, or the person right next to them who can say “no” or “do you need help?”.
  10. We need to TALK. Yes, we need to talk to each other, and hold conversations. Especially those awckward topics that we tend to avoid. In the eighties and nineties our children learned all the bad stuff from that black sheep of a friend, cousin, or sibling. But nowadays, children learn from devices. Devices and platforms that do not have any direct connection or responsibility in what they do. You cannot call their moms, stop them from visiting, or move to another country. (Maybe there’s one or two in the world you can go to, but chances are their not your best option). The same information that your kid finds today in your living room, he or she might access to it anywhere. We need to keep conversations open and embrace more social input and less data input.
  11. History REPEATS so DO NOT FORGET. Yes, we had traumatic childhoods and things to keep working in our therapy sessions, or church service, or AA meeting. But whatever it is that made your life and experience what it is, yes you heal it, and go on with your life, but we cannot forget we lived it. We need to remember that those things happen. We need to accept that new generations will go through them and more. They will live through them in their own way and with their own new technologies to embrace, most likely. We cannot stand aside and expect that the battles we fought are permanently won or become too comfortable assuming things just won’t happen to our kids.
    courtesy of Netflix
  12. Parents ARE in charge. It is not a judgement, it is a fact. Nature is set up that way. Sorry kids… They might have it wrong (sometimes very wrong) but they are in charge. Parents set up the guidelines to follow, with whatever technique, school of thought, belief system, or ideas they may have. When you grow up and have a legal age, you get to chose and state just how wrong they were. Legal and child-care systems can help whenever things are not working as they should. That’s why they exist. But no matter how wise, smart, active, engaging, or talented a kid is, they—(YOU, if you’re under 18) are not in charge; and trust me that is something very vey good for all of us. Let them learn little by little and enjoy and survive every stage. And if you know a parent who is not in charge, or should not be in charge, then report it, and help those kids find another adult who can guide them better.
  13. It makes TEENAGERS uncomfortable. Someone is sharing all their secrets. It is no longer a hidden world, and we need to say thank you! Teens should be thankful that they are taken seriously and someone is talking about what they feel, think, and face everyday. Parents and educators should be grateful, because someone is showing that even when you do your fair share or work, that is not enough. And society should say thank you, because we need to look after our young ones, beyond practicity, beyond education systems or standards, and even beyond yes… SALES.

There go the 13 reasons why you need to watch 13 reasons. You will probably find many more to either watch it or not. But the rabbit is out of the hat, and we can no longer pretend it was never there.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this topic, please do feel free to share them in the comments section or email us at contacto@vosgroup.net

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