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Re: Web Suicide Pacts Surge In Japan

Subject: Re: Web Suicide Pacts Surge In Japan
by Darren on 2006/2/11 1:05:59

I work with high school kids and so I have seen these things develop increasingly over the years. One thing that is interesting is the connection between those associated with the "Emo" subculture and Japanese anime and Japanese culture. I'm not sure why that is other than the pop culture of art work and anime has imagery that those kids can identify with.

I think Shawn is correct - stress of trying to "make the grade" in school, employment and just daily living. One thing over here in the US is a shift from focusing on academic achievement in schools to a "socialization" of kids in schools. The interpersonal relationships are more important than the education. This creates a culture shock when these kids are suddenly held accountable for their grades (High School Exit Exam), they fail miserably, and they think somehow it's the fault of the school or they say it's not "fair". The peer pressures of their social groups define their entire existence and reinforce their pull away from maturing into responsible adults.

Then they become adults trapped with this foundation.

I think, over here at least, too many people have been raised to think that life will be handed to them without any sort of commitment on their part. They also have had so many people make excuses for them that they cannot accept responsibility for their choices and attitudes.

However, on the internet they can live the life they want. They can create a dream world to express their own misery, frustration, and pain. And, they can find others who commiserate with them and justify their feelings. Each person's own misery propels them down the dark spiral.

So, the idea of committing suicide together is not such a lonely thing and it puts a fantasy ending to an otherwise very real inner turmoil. The internet being impersonal allows one to disconnect from their own humanity, making their own life value seem non-existent.

I don't think there is much difference between stress over here and stress in Japan. Maybe it's just created in different methods, but the effect is really the same.
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