This chapter reviews how digital technology has dramatically changed aspects of suicide. Online suicide pacts, webcam suicides, and step-by-step “how-to” sites attract the media’s attention, but a relatively large body of scientific research on the topic now exists. As a result, there is a greater understanding of the thought processes associated with searches for suicide-related information on the Internet. It is not possible to give an “all bad” or “all good” assessment about the complex interplay between information technology (IT) and suicide. Although knowledge of methods of suicide has undoubtedly increased as a result of the Internet, IT-based outreach and treatment are becoming an important part of the solution. Prosuicide sites, cyberbullying, and other negative factors are unlikely to be eradicated and will continue to elicit anger and condemnation. Most in the field of cybersuicidology, however, believe that the Internet environment will ultimately offer more advantages than disadvantages.
|Title of host publication||Mental health in the digital age|
|Subtitle of host publication||Grave dangers, great promise|
|Editors||Elias Aboujaoude, Vladan Starcevic|
|Place of Publication||New York, NY|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2015|