Concerns arise of link between social media use and isolation in light of Florida shooting

Parkland school shooting Photo: SBG

The possibilities are virtually endless in cyberspace. There is always someone available to chat on social media 24 hours a day 7 days a week and sites allow for hundreds or even thousands of so-called friends.

Former detective Morgan Wright believes the negatives of social media are taking a toll on the nation's teens - he calls it a crisis.

“They feel isolated, they feel lonely. They feel everybody else’s life is perfect. They see these perfect Instagram(s) or our families on vacation here. I think it exacerbates that feeling of loneliness,” he said.

It's hard to pinpoint a direct link, but the suicide rate among teens age 15-19 has skyrocketed, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is up 30% for boys and 50% for girls.

Wright blames passive parental involvement and a lack of regulation online. He cites murders that are broadcast live on Facebook and says it’s often difficult to tell what’s real or fake, which he blames on increasing isolation.

“If you’re mentally ill and you have an AR-15 that’s bad. You know what’s even worse - somebody who’s mentally ill with an AR-15 that has unfiltered access to social media,” Wright said.

A new poll shows Americans are somewhat split on gun laws, but more in agreement when it comes to whether better mental health screenings could have prevented the Parkland shooting.

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