Shortly before passing away from suicide, Ian Alexander Jr., 26, son of Regina King, declared social media to be unhealthy for his well-being.
“I don’t think instagram is healthy for me,” wrote Alexander Jr., who deejayed under the stage name Desdune, in one of his final tweets.
He used a popular image from SpongeBob Squarepants where the cartoon character is surrounded by tiny clones cloaked in wild flames to illustrate exactly how he was feeling to his followers.
“You know that episode of SpongeBob where they go inside his brain and it’s a bunch of mini spongebobs just losing their s—…..yea that one really hits home,” he wrote.
Alexander Jr. was the sole child of King and her ex-husband Ian Alexander, Sr., and the pair shared a beautiful bond. She often invoked his name during her acceptance speeches and gushed about her enduring love for him. King confirmed his tragic death in a statement to PEOPLE, “Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” she said.
“He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time.”
When it comes to the impact of social media on users, various studies have been conducted by the companies themselves, and a number of public health institutes on how it affects people.
According to a study published by the American Medical Association in 2021, “Social media use has been associated with diminished well-being and greater levels of anxiety and depression.” A 2018 study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology strongly advocated for limiting use of social media platforms to less than 30 minutes per day on the grounds that it “may lead to significant improvement in well-being.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues and/or suicidal ideation you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 twenty-four hours a day.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the King and Alexander families at this difficult time.