We’re gonna talk about this little bit of insanity for a second, ok, kids? Ok. In the vein of the old mantra, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” the weirdo troll monsters, 4Chan /b/ (whatever), spent the better part of yesterday calling for Operation Cut For Bieber. This appeared to be some sort of bullshit movement hoping to get young people to self-mutilate as part of an asscrappingly horrendous demonstration in protest of Bieber’s alleged habit of smoking “the good Lord’s ganja” — and it has all the markers of being one of the more heinous things we’ve witnessed with regard to social media and peer pressure.
Putting aside some of the true psychological reasons for cutting for a second and just dealing with “social media-based peer pressure” — if some nameless, faceless internet gonzo tells you do something, you’re too smart to do it too, right?! Right. Let’s always keep that in mind.
The hashtags #cutforbieber and #cuttingforbieber made all the usual rounds which garnered an actual response from Bieber fans distraught enough over his weed smoking to actually cut themselves in misguided solidarity. This is totally unacceptable.
Er, hey! TEENAGED PEOPLE! DON’T CUT YOURSELVES BECAUSE SOME DESTRUCTIVE WEIRDO ON THE INTERNET TELLS YOU TO! But more to the point, this is important because teens, who are some of the biggest social media users, are extremely susceptible to this type of behavior, which makes 4Chan /b/ all the more sickening and dangerous. Some quick stats tell us:
- 90% of self-injury individuals begin harming themselves during their teen years or younger.
- Cutting and other self-injury behavior crosses all cultures and socio-economic norms.
- Cutting and self-injury is a method used by individuals to take care of themselves, their feelings and actions.
- 40% of all individuals who commit self-injury type behaviors are males.
- Almost 50% of cutters or self-injury individuals have reported being sexually abused.
- Almost 50% of self-abusers begin at the age of 14 and continue into their 20’s.
- Some studies indicate that cutting and other self-injury behavior is learned from friends or peers.
- the number of cases is on the rise
And if you really have a problem with cutting — please seek help immediately! However, if we’re just talking about some bandwagon situation — and not someone dealing with the real underlying issues of self-mutilation or self-injury — never, ever, do what some jackass tells you to do just because the Twitterzzz makes it sound cool, or fun, or because it’s trending, or because maybe, just maybe Justin Bieber will reach out to you personally. Don’t fall for some silly prank enacted by internet juggaloos looking to exploit the masses and make you some foil in their plot for internet superstardom. Cutting is a very real, very big deal. It affects millions and shouldn’t be used by those looking to exploit it for fifteen minutes of fame. Shame on them for knowingly attempting to harm young people.
Also, really, Twitter? You have no way to censure this kind of harmful rabble? Crikey. Peer pressure is hard enough for these kids without you allowing those damnable hashtags without a filter. Shame on you too.