Advice for men

Advice for men

Advice for men

Suicide is now the eighth leading cause of death among men, and a Christian apologist says an increased attachment to social media is one of the contributing factors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), of the 48,183 individuals in the U.S. who died by suicide in 2021, more than 38,000 were men. Heart disease and cancer remained the leading causes of death, the same as in 2020.

In part, Dr. Alex McFarland blames young men's increased involvement with social media. He says an active online life is actually no life at all.

"As a pastor and a counselor, I would urge people: Divorce themselves from social media, because one of the ironies is that social media has made us not social," he submits.

McFarland, Alex (Christian apologist) McFarland

Experts figure 84% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 have social media accounts, and McFarland says they cause young men especially to become more isolated as they frequently expose them to things that just do not happen in everyday life. Coupled with that is the popular image of men as vile and vapid beasts with few redeeming qualities.

"Men are not valued almost at all," he observes. "In the television shows and movies, men are either evil or buffoons. They're exploitive; they're sexual villains."

But for him, the most devastating trend among young men is addiction to pornography.

"I would say one of the tragic, tragic realities of our time is pornography that has become the substitute for authentic, valid relationships," the apologist notes. "I believe a lot of men are depressed. They realized that a lot of what they thought they might accomplish or experience is maybe not going to happen."

Those factors, plus a struggling economy, are weighing on the hearts and minds of men today, and McFarland says they see no way out of their wilderness.