Last week, social media was abuzz with the news of a new website that encourages drug use. Socialbarrell.com called attention to the site, called Tripsit, saying that: “Through the site, members help each other out by providing advice regarding how much drug to use and which drugs to mix. According to the site, their main goal is to decrease cases of “uninformed” drug consumption. Aside from providing information, they also have a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week “chat” line where volunteers assist members who need help as they experience a “bad” trip.”
Most people seem to find this, at the very least, shocking. We are certainly saddened, though not surprised. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this kind of negative social media before and know how devastating the effects can be. Today’s youth are hugely influenced by social media and interfaces that provide sounding boards create a sense of community around destructive behaviors. Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness week, and while I read about Tripsit, I couldn’t help but think of similar pro-anorexia sites that target young girls who desperately want to be thin. These sites feature photographs of shrunken celebrities and models for “thinspiration” and members can post on message boards when they need support in starving themselves. The problem of protecting our children from the influence of sites like these is quandary we can’t answer in a short blog post. We can only encourage the discussion.