13 Reasons Why Sunday, May 07, 2017

I just binge watched the Selena Gomez executive produced Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and whoa it was amazing. I started watching the series yesterday around 2pm and was immediately hooked. I stayed up till 2am, finishing episode 10 at which point I decided I needed to sleep and would watch the final two episodes in the morning.

This morning I woke up around 9am and could not wait to finish this brilliant series. I brushed my teeth and made coffee. Back in bed and ready to finish this incredible series. This is truly powerful film making with a roster of amazing up and coming actors. Throughout the series, I kept opening up my IMDB app, as I needed to know more about these talented actors. I'm pretty sure I'm now following most of them on Instagram.  I just finished watching the final two episodes and wow!!!! I highly recommend this to everyone. Aside from being incredibly entertaining, the topic is also important and reflective of some of the stresses our youth today confronts daily.

The story is centered around a character named Hannah who has just committed suicide. Hannah has left 13 tapes behind. Each tape explains the 13 reasons why she committed suicide. Wow. Powerful stuff as we, the audience quickly become engrossed with Hannah and the 13 different individuals who all contributed to her suicide. Being a teenager is hard. If you are over the age of 18, you know, you've been there and survived it.

Most of us graduated high school before social media was a thing. It might be hard to imagine a time before social media, however the internet is still a fairly new invention. One that did not gain popularity until the year 2000. MySpace was established in 2003, Facebook and Twitter in 2005 and Instagram in 2010. Although, hard to believe social media (as we know it today) is less than 15 years old. This means most of us are lucky that our every move wasn’t captured and documented and recorded for the entire world to see. Forever. If you were bullied, made fun of or mistreated during school, you were safe once you got home. Kids today aren’t as lucky. They are subjected to possible insults, opinions and commentary 24 hours 365 days a year as the internet never sleeps and never takes a day off.

The negative effects of social media affect all of us, regardless of age. Fortunately, most of us are old enough to have developed a tough skin and/or a strong support group to help us survive and overcome the negative and unkind words some people write and send out into the internet for everyone to see. Now imagine being a teenager and having to deal with this. Yikes. Would we all have survived that time in our lives?  

Netflix has also released a short documentary titled 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons, a 30 minute documentary with cast, crew and psychologists about some of the themes and subjects featured in the series. I enjoyed the insight the documentary provided and was most surprised to learn that suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death in teens ages 15-19 in the United States. Accidents are #1 and homicide is #3. How is this possible? How is something that is 100% preventable the #2 cause of death for this demographic? It’s disturbing knowing that teens are taking their own lives when they have their entire futures ahead of them. Truly disturbing.

Suicide and/or the implication of taking one's life ("I would die" or "I would kill myself") is a term that is over used in current times. I fortunately have not lost any friends or family to suicide (knock on wood), however I can't be naïve enough to think it will never affect me. Times are changing. We need to have these conversations. We need to be more aware as people. We need to be more sympathetic and understanding. No human being should live their life feeling alone or unloved. Every life has meaning. People need to know that. Especially our kids.

Being an Uncle is without a doubt the greatest joy in my life. Having the privilege to love, inspire and protect someone is such a gift. I am blessed and honored to be Uncle Lio to many. It is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously.  It pains me to think that some kids feel like suicide is an option or an alternative. How is this possible? My oldest niece who is 13 lost 2 classmates (her age) last year. How did this happen? Twice no less? How could their deaths have been prevented?

Technology and having so much access to information is amazing, however it does come with a price. It pains me to think that our children’s lives have become collateral damage for this technology. The world is moving at a ridiculously fast rate. We are now too busy curating the lives we want people to think we are living, rather than actually being present for the life we are fortunate enough to live.

Cell phones are amazing things. We now have access to more information and resources than we ever thought possible. How much are you willing to pay for this technology?

I make it a point to be 100% present when I spend time with my nieces and nephews. The phone can wait. Love is the greatest gift in life. Spending time with the people we love is the greatest joy in life. We need to make these relationships more of a priority. No one should end their life because they feel alone. Especially our kids.

My apologies for the heavy blog entry. This series clearly affected me. I highly recommend it to everyone. Cheers to all of you. Cheers to being better and of course more fabulous.:-)

Liomir

Additionally, the music from this series was amazing. Obviously, I made a playlist. Enjoy and thanks for reading.

Listen to my 13 Reasons Why Mix on Apple Music;

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/13-reasons-why/idpl.ece71dca0ddf43ec9a43e7d597529157