Self-Harm and the Internet: The Good and the Dangerous
Since I’ve been having major issues with not being able to fall asleep lately, I’ve been up at night browsing the Internet more than usual. My nightly routine has been as follows: write, push dog off keyboard, look at Facebook, write, look at Pinterest, push dog off keyboard and write a little bit more.
During those in-between moments, I started remembering how dangerous the web used to be during my days of self-harm. You can find anything on there. You can find pictures that trigger self-injurious behaviors and websites that support those behaviors.
Self-Harm and the Internet: Google the Good and Backspace the Bad
It’s hard not to want to see photographs of marks when you’re a self-harmer not interested in stopping the negative behavior. There are websites all over the place supporting those with all kinds of dangerous addictions. The saddest part of all is there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it.
When I was a cutter, I never made big, dramatic marks on my skin. I was a self-harmer who only needed a little mark to redirect my focus. There are websites, however, that show people how to make deep, unsafe marks on your skin. There are gruesome photographs that, for some self-harmers, are a point of interest. These websites are just as dangerous as those that have step-by-step guides on how to build a bomb.
So, where can self-harmers go to redirect their focus on the positive?
Find Interesting Websites with Positive Messages about Self-Harm
Being a writer, I am a fan of quotes. You see them all over Facebook and Instragram and those are just a few places to go to for a pick-me-ups instead of searching for negative photos and websites.
Pinterest is also full of positive quotes and messages. Just search for them and thousands pop up. Find a few that really make you think and write them in a notebook. When you feel as if you are heading down a negative path, open up the notebook and look at a few.
It’s also fun to put Dove chocolate wrappers in there – they have fun quotes on the inside of the wrappers.
Since you are reading this blog, you have already found a website that supports overcoming any kind of struggle, including self-harm. There are so many websites out there that want to help those who self-harm move towards a positive future. Google those websites instead, when you are about to look for the negative ones.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but once you do it a few times, you’ll find yourself moving in that direction more often.
Aline, J. (2014, February 16). Self-Harm and the Internet: The Good and the Dangerous, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2014/02/self-harm-and-the-internet-the-good-and-the-dangerous
Author: Jennifer Aline Graham
I've found that for me, what's more dangerous than the websites supporting self-harm are the people online who condemn it so harshly. I don't seek out self-harm supporting websites (though I am a self-injurer) but even a seemingly okay post or article can turn bad quickly with stigma. I saw one article just talking about a girl with depression and the commenters said that people with depression or who self-injure should just kill themselves instead of talking about it. Needless to say, I was quite bothered by that.