By Sydney Schuck
Since the beginning of social media, there have been creators who have made it their mission to raise awareness and bring attention to social issues. With the rise of the popularity of #breakingcodesilence and #troubledteenindustry we can see the direct impacts on awareness and individuals sharing their stories. The hashtag ‘Breaking Code Silence’ has a collective 178.8 million views on tiktok, and 7.1k posts on Instagram. This hashtag is filled with many creators who have sought out to share their stories of time spent in the troubled teen industry. From wilderness therapy programs, therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, conversion therapy and more, you can find hundreds of accounts sharing funny moments, to the hardest, saddest parts of the TTI.
Social media has allowed survivors to connect with each other and even in some cases meet up with fellow program survivors. Within support groups and virtual support meetings organized through social media, survivors can share mutual feelings and find a community to connect, grow, and heal with. With over a dozen groups on Facebook, and even more accounts on Instagram dedicated to helping connect others, it is easier than ever for survivors to find each other and come together to support one another. One amazing resource has been the monthly TTI Zoom Support Group. Created and hosted by survivors, and for survivors only, this virtual get-together is held on the first Friday night of each month.
Social media has also been a popular avenue for programs looking to target potential clients since the dawn of social media itself, but with the rise of #breakingcodesilence, parents have no choice but to see these videos embedded within the hashtags of wilderness therapy and boarding schools. It has become an effective way for survivors to reach parents before they make the mistake of sending their child to these programs, and to help them consider safer options. Social media will continue to be a driving force in ending the troubled teen industry, halting the production of new programs, and bringing awareness to those who otherwise are blind to what is happening to kids in these programs right now. We look forward to featuring a few of the many incredible tiktokers and other content creators in Breaking Code Silence’s August Newsletter!