While I am not for a moment going to support the lazy and unhelpful coverage of the issue supplied by the Press, I do think that parents do need to be more aware of what their children get up to online.
I understand that any parents who read this blog are unlikely to be the parents I am talking about.
I am not suggesting that parents spy on children/young people, but rather set up some boundaries and keep an eye on them, in an age-appropriate way.
One of the things with the internet is that it does allow all kinds of communities to get together.
While this means lots of great and interesting communities can socialise, it also includes people (who may be suicidal, or have eating disorders, or who abuse children, for example) that prior to the internet would have found it pretty difficult to get together, support and encourage each other.
While the internet does not cause the problem, it may have an effect on how people manage their problems.
So while people can reach out to each other and provide some much needed support in times of difficulty through social networking sites, or other internet-mediated contact, they can also expose their vulnerability to unscrupulous people, and meet others who encourage suicide and need help like they do.
In disparaging poor media coverage, do keep in mind that the way people use the internet can pose a problem. This is not an 'epidemic' sweeping the nation, but still something that has a huge impact on those affected.
As a long time lurker here, thanks for your fascinating contributions. I will miss them.