13 Reasons Why: Tape 2, Side A

If you yourself or you personally know someone who is considering self-harm, ending their own life… whatever. It doesn’t matter go to 13reasonswhy.info for some resources on how and where to find help.

You’re not alone; no one is ever alone, never ever forget that.

ICYMI…

13 Reasons Why: Tape 1, Side B

We wake up in the morning and I guarantee you the vast majority of us reaches for our phone to see if there’s anything we missed out on. How do the kids put it now? Oh. Yeah. FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. 

I’m not here to scold or lecture because I’d be hypocritical in doing so. I do everything I just wrote and more. The point of me writing about 13 Reasons Why as frequently as I am is because I really think the show does a phenomenal job of giving us a birds-eye view of how human behavior is, and how cringingly cruel we can be and sometimes are.

After picking up our phone and waking the screen, we’ll either be elated to see who reached out to us; how many likes, comments, or otherwise we received on our social network profiles; if you’re like me, what’s going on in the world in terms of news and politics; sports wise: the scores, highlights…; streaks selfies or snaps from friends. I could literally go on. Once we look at what others have posted, we then join in on the endless commentary throughout our own day ourselves.

The way we enter in on the fray is by tapping words into our phones, laptops or whichever device we respectfully use. Focus in on the words here. We use words everyday of our lives. They don’t have to be spoken either. They can be written, typed, again spoken, heard, readn so many different forms of media. And the continuence of technological innovation and expansion will only increase the formats in which we continue to do so. 

For a lot of us we are cordial and keep to ourselves and use social media how it should be used: sharing our own likes, opinions and interests for others to interact with or not at all. Those are the ones of us who are quiet and respectful and don’t use the tool of the Internet and social media as a way to hurt without repurcussion or consequence. It allows those who use it to harm to hide like a coward behind their screen. As Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) tells Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) in a scene in the third episode, “You really wouldn’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life.” He’s right. We don’t. Even when we’re family, friends, considered close, however we label it. We really never know any given person one-hundred percent. There are always secrets.

A running theme throughout the first season of 13 Reasons Why is how desperate Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) parents are of finding out why someone, their daughter no less, who was around them everyday could possibly decide to commit suicide. We don’t know. We’ll know probably because it’s a show, but maybe not. Maybe 13 Reasons Why will avoid an entertainment cliche and maintain how grounded in reality it is. (Disclosure: As of the writing of this post, I’m up to episode seven.) Maybe having no answer as to why Hannah killed herself is a better, although bitter, lesson of what our words can do. 

As singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes sings in his song Stiches:

“I thought that I’ve been hurt before
But no one’s ever left me quite this sore
Your words cut deeper than a knife
Now I need someone to breathe me back to life”

We tend to think we’ve “been hurt before” but fail to forget life has other plans for us. We’re bound to be stung more than a few times, however long we each live. There’s going to be that person or persons that leave us “sore” because their “words cut deeper than a knife.” All we need sometimes, I’d argue for all the time, “someone to breath [us] back to life.” Taking the time to listen to and even provide advice -‘ the latter only if asked for — could literally, in Hannah’s case, have saved her life. One person is it. 

I’ll leave you with this still from episode three:

You can see Alex (Miles Heizer) showing Clay a sign posted in Liberty High that reads, “Suicide is not an option.” Alex tells Clay, “Clearly it is.” It never should be and you could be the support someone needs. Be an uplifter, an ear, a shoulder, wise; not a bully.

If you’re willing to share, what’s something you said that was hurtful and maybe still regret? Leave a comment below or tweet me @werdynerdy.