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7 Things Blamed On Social Media

Pass The Salt, Pass The Blame

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We love to pass blame, don't we?

We seem to adapt at a young age in the art of finger pointing. I remember accidentally smashing my mum’s friend’s car window with a rock. (It was accidental, promise) She came bolting out of the house and I proceeded to point at everyone else. She saw right through me though, chased me all the way back home and all.

As we grow up we realise that people start to blame things that they don’t quite understand. Rock n’ Roll, the internet and video games are a few things that have been blamed for just about most things imaginable. Now though, people are turning their scared eyes towards social media. Let’s take a look at the things that have been blamed on social media over the past few years.

1. Sexually Transmitted Infections

Last year, a health official in the UK linked Facebook the growth of spreading sexually transmitted infections. ‘There has been a fourfold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected with more young women being affected, I don't get the names of people affected, just figures, and I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through these sites.’

Facebook was less than happy to be accused of this and quickly hit back:
‘Facebook is no more responsible for STD transmission than newspapers responsible for bad vision. Today's reports exaggerate the comments made by the professor, and ignore the difference between correlation and causation.’

I don’t think Facebook could ever be blamed for a growth in STIs. Tinder on the other hand…

2. Ruining Our Children

Back in 2006, Ron Vietti, Senior Pastor of Valley Bible Fellowship in Bakersfield, CA, made headlines for being a vocal critic of then-popular social networking site MySpace. Does anyone even remember MySpace anymore? If we were ever to be judged on our MySpace profiles I’d worry for how I’d be seen. Vietti compared MySpace to crack, cocaine and meth no less. He went on to say that MySpace was luring boys into pornography and making young girls targets of sexual predators. He also called the internet ‘the devil's biggest scheme he has ever inserted into our lives.’

In his defense, he did tell his congregation to go out and socialize in bars over online. I’m with you there Ron. I’m so desperate for a drink today I might even consider meeting you for one. (But only if you’re paying)

3. Spider-Man’s Problems

Spider-Man just can’t catch a break between all the reinventions. Poor lad.

Spider-Man’s foray into theatre was definitely not a smooth transition and critics of the show ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ were rather cruel in their reviews.

The shows director Julie Taymor said that she thought that Twitter was to blame for the bad press. ‘Too many people used the social network to voice their opinions before the show was ready. It's very scary if people are going more towards that, To have audiences tell you how to make a show... Shakespeare would have been appalled.

I think your first mistake Taymor was releasing an unfinished Spider-Man musical and then compared it to Shakespeare. But that’s none of my business.

examiner.com

4. Hosni Mubarak’s Downfall

Social media is considered quite responsible for the collapse of Egypt’s government and the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt.
Using Facebook and Twitter, Egyptians voiced their displeasure with the country's government and organized the January 25th 2011 protests that began the still-ongoing Egyptian revolution and resulted in Mubarak's eventual resignation.

It was one of the first examples of social media being used to rally a nation against injustice.

Hey, I didn't say that everything social media has been blamed for has to be bad.

5. Iranian Unrest

Social media was credited for the protests in response to the 2009 Iranian elections as well. The protests began after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was named president again despite questionable results. Following on from the outburst on Twitter, the US government even intervened and spoke with Twitter. The U.S. contacted Twitter and asked the company to move a planned system upgrade to 1:30 a.m., Iranian time, in case it temporarily disabled the service.

This was dubbed as a Twitter Revolution back in 2009. Six years on we seem to have a new revolution at least once a week.

6. Divorce

Facebook is a big factor in many divorces. According to Divorce-Online, 20% of divorces have stated that Facebook are one of the reasons for separations. Too many people trying to rekindle past loves and old school flames apparently. Naughty naughty.

7. Underage Marriage

A member of the Indonesian religious court faulted Facebook for the rising number of underage marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country. In Indonesia, women must be 16 years old and men must be 19 in order to wed; the official saw at least an 8 percent increase in the number of underage individuals seeking marriages this year.

I’m not entirely sure how Facebook is the blame for this, but if a religious court in Indonesia said so it must be true. That’s like getting your facts from the Independent. Well, not really.

So there we go. Things that social media have gotten the blame for. Some reasons are quite good and social media should take a big bow for some of it’s influences.
But people will still fear social media if they don’t understand it. It’s just how the world goes.
I think I blame all my debts on social media. I’m not sure how, but I’ll make it work somehow.

Credit for the List Goes to Mental Floss. More from them here


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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7 Things Blamed On Social Media Reviewed by Tom Welby on Friday, January 16, 2015 Rating: 5
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