MLK Had a Dream
By Richard King
I do not believe there is much debate about the essence of Martin Luther King’s dream. That “one day people will be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin”. I think that many in contemporary times misinterpret the message of that historic speech. It was not so that we would be white people, black people, or asian people..But instead just people. As Morgan Freeman once so eloquently said during a 60 minutes interview “I’m going to not refer to you as a white man, and I would ask you not to refer to me as a black man”. Simple yet very powerful. Growing up in my formative years it seemed as though MLK’s dream had come true. We heard about race, but it was usually when some radical fringe element, no matter what the color may be, held a rally or protest. This has all been cast aside for a country where equity and inclusion is the edict du jour. Having looked back on it for some time now, I think I know when this new racial divide began.
In 2004 I, like many other Americans, was tuned in to the Democratic National Convention. Although I’m a libertarian I watch both the Democrats’ and Republicans' respective conventions. The DNC in 2004 was not unlike many before it. It had a nice penchant for the dramatic with John Kerry arriving via Navy Swift Boat saluting and declaring “reporting for duty”. Not a bad touch, just very out of place when you actually looked at Kerry’s service record. All that aside on the night of the keynote speech, the world was introduced to a completely unknown face to most in America. A tall handsome younger man with an excellent gift for oration and flair. Indeed everyone would not soon forget the name Barack Obama anytime soon after his speech. He was declared the DNC’s new shining star. His message was decent, he wanted to declare that we were one United States and not just a mix of races. He called for unity and an end to racial division. The only trouble with that speech is that racial division was not exactly a matter of supreme importance when he stated this in his address. To my knowledge at the time, there were some racial issues in the US, which almost always involved radical fringe elements. Be it the KKK or Louis Farakhan and his anti-white and anti-semtic platform, it was largely very limited. I’ve watched in my hometown as people of all races and creeds came together to counter protest the KKK and Skinheads. The most racism I encountered was usually when a select few of my Grandpa’s war buddies would make an off color remark along racial lines. Something that I easily dismissed as a relic of a bygone era. As the great standup comedian Jim Norton once said “if you're 80 and you grew up in Mississippi, you probably owe a few apologies”. Neither I or anyone I knew for that matter would ever have the audacity or reason to call a black American the “N” word. Yet at the age of 29 I suddenly found that all that was a thing of the past. I nor anyone for that matter could have foreseen the return of race as a primary driver for political policy. It was almost as though the civil rights movement never happened, and suddenly America was back in the time of Jim Crow.
Obama quickly rose. At the time of the 2004 DNC address he was a State Senator from Illinois with very little executive experience, if any at all. In fact while the rest of the world was awe struck by this new fresh face that many pundits were comparing to JFK, I was left wondering who this guy was. My initial attempts at research of his life were fairly fruitless. There really was a cloud of mystery that surrounded this man. While that only added to the allure for some, I found it very suspicious. I was not asking for very much I thought. If a man is to ascend to Senator only 2 years after his 2004 speech and then begin a run at the presidency it would seem to be a good thing to know about his life. Where was he born, how was he raised, did he have siblings? These are all very basic questions of anyone you might consider making friends with, so obviously the answers seem a bit more important when you're seeking to be the leader of the free world. However for a very long time Obama’s past remained exactly what his campaign manager David Axelrod wanted it to be, a mystery. There were many reputable investigative journalists that sprung into action to try and answer the questions that were certainly on the minds of many. We came to learn that Barack Obama was the son of a Kenyan Father and a white American mother. He has siblings still in Kenya yet he spent the majority of his life in Malaysia and then Hawaii. He was a Harvard Law graduate and used his higher learning to be a community organizer, settling down in Chicago. It became known that he had a very long and personal relationship with a Black Liberation Theologian by the name of Jeremiah Wright. An extremely divisive figure to say the least. Famous for such eloquent quotes as “not God Bless America, God Damn America”. Then as if this cake was not radical enough already another tier was added with the revelation of his deep ties to Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorne. Domestic Terrorist from the infamous Weather Underground that carried out attacks against the FBI and other government entities. After learning all of this I wondered why anyone would vote for him? His associations alone called into question his love of country and his rhetoric of Unity instead of division. With the legacy media fully onboard and pundits like Chris Matthews having tingles in his legs from every syllable that fell from Obama’s mouth, the stage was set for this star to continue his ascent. None of the information that came to light seemed to matter to most Americans. It was either explained away or dismissed entirely as a right wing conspiracy. The rallies were bigger and bigger and as I listened to the cries of “Obama Obama Obama” it reminded me of the Mummy and the transfixed dazed populace repeating “Imotep Imotep Imotep”. Yes indeed many fell under the spell of “Hope and Change” and while I was sure that people would eventually come to their senses, alas it was not to be. In November of 2008 Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Completely reversing what was thought to be a coronation for Hillary Clinton and the breaking of the ultimate glass ceiling with a woman as POTUS.
Obama’s presidency began with much wonder as to what “fundamentally changing this country” really entailed. As promised he began to come up with bold policy prescriptions such as Obamacare and vast increases in Government assistance and intervention. Like most on the left, Obama was certainly a believer in what became to be known as climate change, the older brother of the prior Global Warming. Instead of unity and a return to a color blind society, more and more the American public was spoonfed ideas like “people are only against Obama because he is Black”. I actually had an elderly man stop me at Wal-Mart one night and tell me that exact thing. It was completely out of nowhere, I had never seen nor met the man in my entire life, yet for some reason one look at me and he was inspired. It was truly one of the more strange experiences I have ever had. What immediately came to mind was the utter stupidity of the statement. I don’t care if you're Black Brown Gay or Straight, bad ideas are bad ideas. Thus was born the racial divide that has only metastasized and paved the way for the insanity that we find ourselves in a mere 7 years after the end of Obama’s second term. Now we have the specter of equity that hovers over the country like a case of bedbugs. Racial Equity "is the idea that racial identity cannot be used to predict individual or group outcomes". Then of course the idea of inclusion puts forth the notion that "traditionally excluded groups be brought into the fray of power and positions thus becoming authentically involved in all aspects of decision and policy making". Both of the aforementioned definitions came from the North Carolina.Gov website. What exactly is a traditionally excluded group? "Don't ask, dont tell" has been in place for years now in the military. Employment is and has always been equal opportunity, especially in our current state of affairs. It basically means that anybody, no matter what the circumstances, should deserve a high paying job just as much as everyone else. Equal outcomes for all if you will. This of course completely throws meritocracy out the window and replaces it with making sure there are nothing but big firsts. The first Transexual assistant HHS secretary. The first Black openly gay press secretary and so on. How did these two ludicrous ideas become construed as progress? I have a very good example. I applied a year or two ago for a job with American Airlines. I thought having a job at the airport would make me feel right at home with my love and experience with Aviation. In the interview there was myself and three others. One man was white like me, another was a Hispanic gentleman, and lastly a young black woman who had never set foot on an airplane before. The job was offered to the woman who had never even flown and she couldn't even take the job because she had no Driver's License. I have accepted that equity and inclusion seem to be here to stay. In addition we came to learn the names of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. The first a street thug who after a strong arm robbery tried to kill a police officer who was forced to fire on him to save his life. The latter a victim to a degree of vigilante justice, yet portrayed as an innocent young man walking home with Skittles for his brother when he was gunned down for no reason. Riots ensued, along with looting and destruction. A seemingly benign incident compared to the riots that came post George Floyd and the rise of BLM and ANTIFA. To this day I see the BLM flags and shirts despite it being proven fact that BLM was nothing more than a money making scam. BLM never helped anyone in the inner city. Instead the founders enriched themselves and with their blatant hypocrisy bought expensive homes in affluent mostly white communities. Defunding the Police became the new Battle cry and relics like Maxine Watters stood on the courthouse steps in Minneapolis proclaiming that if Derek Chauvin was not found guilty “the city would burn ''. There was a time when that was known as incitement. Now it is just another day in the USA. The old race baiters of the past grew their power and made way for new radicals like Van Jones and Marc Lamont Hill. This is not even mentioning Critical Race Theory and White Privilege, both now household phrases. It made the country I used to know into a place where merely asking a table of young black people to quit cussing and yelling automatically made me a card carrying member of the KKK.
“Hope and Change” has long since been replaced with “despair and rage” and race relations are at their worst in decades. The Washington Establishment doesn't want racial division, they need it. Without it they're like a Great White Shark with only one row of teeth. The division is what keeps us plebes busy with the benign, while totally missing the truly consequential. Unity right now seems like quite a tall order. To accomplish it, major and realistic Hope and Change will have to come in order to combat this narrative that America is still the same as it was in 1860. Enough is enough, the little boy crying wolf routine got old a long time ago. It is time to move forward and start fulfilling Dr. King’s dream or continue living in a world where one innocent remark can ruin one's entire career. The time I described was not that long ago. We unfortunately have had an entire generation practically raised with the mentality that the color of their skin dictates who they are and what they will do with their lives. I don't have all the answers, what I do have is ideas. Perhaps they would be beneficial, perhaps not. Right now I would give anything to return to the simpler time when it seemed like the Dream had come true.
OnlyFans, Only Greed
By Richard King
Pornography is undoubtedly one of the biggest vices in the US by far. If one were to inquire, they would find that 57 percent of men ages 30-49 have used pornography within the last month, and 42 percent would admit to having viewed pornography in just the past week. Some estimates put the number of “porn addicts” at 200 million. This is absolutely staggering when you factor in that 40 million report having outright obsessions with pornography. Keep in mind these stats are worldwide. With numbers like these it is not shocking that OnlyFans “content creators / amateur porn stars” are making money hand over fist with this platform. I’m a true capitalist and entrepreneur, that being said the business model of OnlyFans is one that cares only about generating revenue. The people who generate that revenue mean nothing.
OnlyFans had very modest beginnings. It was created in 2016 by a British businessman by the name of Tim Stockley. Stockley and his partners did not just happen upon this. They are morally questionable individuals whose whole careers have been in pornography. Stockley's primary partner Leonid Radvinsky, spent most of the '90s selling stolen passwords to Internet porn sites. Including sites that promote child pornography and beastiality. These are truly sick individuals. It is a London based business founded for the sole purpose of opening a personalized streaming service for both amateur and professional porn creators. The success has mainly been due to other social media sites cracking down on nudity and explicit content. The real spike came though when Covid struck and the draconian lockdowns that ensued left many people very bored. During the initial stages of the pandemic, OnlyFans saw a jump in revenue of almost 540 percent. In addition, the number of content creators rose five times over to a staggering 1.6 million creators in total. With an audience that also rose 500 percent coming in at 82 million subscribers, with the majority of subscribers coming from the US. OnlyFans claims to be a site not just for pornography, but also for musicians and chefs etc. This notion is really excrement when you look at the numbers and the amount of content. Today, in less than 3 years' time there are 210 million subscribers and 2.1 million content creators. It would appear that the pandemic was not just a cash cow for big Pharma and others. OnlyFans is one of the most dominant forces in pornography today and with the ease of content creation and the money that comes with it, it would not be a good bet to say that the numbers are going to decline anytime soon. Whatever the creators make the company gets 20 percent. Call them "cyber pimps" if you will. Worse still, OnlyFans is a Chuck E Cheese for predators and pedophiles alike. OnlyFans is of course not the only site for "Cam Girls". There are numerous outlets for that, however in this category, OnlyFans seems to be the biggest kid on the block.
OnlyFans has an extremely minimalistic approach to verifying the age of content creators. It is not any wonder that many disturbed individuals have used this platform to both exploit and victimize underage girls and boys. There have been many lawsuits filed against the company, these are almost exclusively settled outside of court. Freedom of speech and expression is the backbone of our Republic. We can no more ban OnlyFans than we can a local KKK Klavern. This creates the most concerning aspect of OnlyFans, though activity which includes minors is minimal it still exists. Where does freedom of speech and expression stop, and criminality begin? If child pornography is being created on this platform, then it should be shut down. If that seems too extreme, then at the very least there must be strenuous regulation when it comes to age verification and content monitoring. The response by the directors of OnlyFans has been very uninspiring to say the least. This is not surprising. This modest start-up has turned Stockley and partners into billionaires virtually overnight. What they have now is perhaps the most predominant helper for the demographic discussed earlier. With these rising revenues and trends, parents, don't be surprised if you hear or get sent a leaked photo of your daughter or son that you prayed you would never see.
It is hard to say what the driving factor is behind so many young women especially seeking to bare their bodies for pay. The statistic I found reports that 70 percent of content creators are females. This really isn't even just pornography when you get down to it. The true nature of OnlyFans is that it is basically a legal online prostitution racket, the primary difference obviously being that there is no physical contact. With subscription prices ranging from $5 - $50 it is very easy to spot the fountain of money this has become. This generation more so than any previous ones seems to have no concept of the future. This generation lives for the moment and instant gratification. In this scenario the big picture goes out of focus very quickly. What are young adults going to do when it comes time to try to start a career or get a high paying job? When they arrive in the interview room, the interviewer might very well pause and say to themselves, “she is one of my favorites on OnlyFans”. Painting in that light makes it seem like a high-quality reference when in reality employers will call into question the morality and values of the individual involved. Every business wants to find ways to generate more revenue, the best gimmick ever is not having the most popular OnlyFans creators as employees. If one wishes to be a Hooters girl for a living, then this might be just the thing. When you actually apply the Lense of thinking ahead however, it could be the very thing that relegates an individual to a life of mediocrity and loneliness. If I were single, a girl who is a star on OnlyFans would not be my first choice for long term commitment. Take it a step further and one day if you do have a family and a career, you have nobody but yourself to blame when your child's friends start showing pornographic pictures of his or her mom. Unless pornography is your calling in life, OnlyFans serves as a means to make easy money, period.
I would not be surprised at all if some that read this are OnlyFans subscribers or creators. This monster grew out of control very fast. As time passes more and more young adults will put their futures in great jeopardy and the horrible scourge of child exploitation and pedophilia will thrive even more. I'm not telling you anything that isn't par for the course these days. I recently noticed an ad box on the screen watching YouTube that allows you to create an AI friend to flirt with. This business began in the 19th century, it's not going anywhere. As it almost always occurs, the best medicine is upbringing. They say it "takes a village", that might be true to an extent. On the whole though it takes having a solid family environment to help prepare the best young people for real life.
Sources:(Webroot, IFStudies, Forbes, Gitnux)
Insane in the Ukraine!!!
by Richard King
There are many key dates that stick out in the span of an individual's life. We all remember September 11, 2001, some of us remember November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. I wonder how many of us know or remember the significance of February 24, 2022. This is the date that the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine and may have possibly started the road to a day that I hope will never come. The day that ICBMs from around the globe begin to rocket towards their targets. It may sound hyperbolic to many, and the reason for that is what is so alarming. Media is supposed to exist to inform the public of facts that are occurring in the world. All too often though throughout history it has been utilized to shape public opinion. This is where the media ends and propaganda begins. Trying to come up with sources and facts for this piece illustrates perfectly the very dynamic I am talking about. The horrible motives behind it and the reality that exists on the ground.
When I Googled the amount of money the US has sent to Ukraine, I was given the bargain basement price of $75 billion. I note that Google only in the last few days has begun to cite the Kiel Institute, a German think tank, as their source. The Kiel Institute was the only place I could find that accurately showed the expenditures of all countries, NATO and non member States alike. Google won't even display an accurate number even when the same institute reports that total spending is in fact $91.2 billion, not including the latest package of $31 billion. The Kiel Institute breaks down spending into three categories; Military, Financial and Humanitarian. So far the US has expended $42.8 billion in Military spending and $24.3 billion Financially. The rest had been dispersed to mostly impossible to trace Humanitarian Aid Agencies. Recently a report from the Guardian exposed that one such “humanitarian agency” has prostitutes go to the hospital to have sex with the wounded soldiers. US Military MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) eat your heart out. So we have the numbers, what is the significance? Obviously I do not support the Invasion of Ukraine. The same tired response though has already been put into play. We are after all the World Police so we have to fend off the Russian invaders. I don’t think so. I'm not an isolationist, but the US has 935 military bases or posts around the world. With a number that ludicrous, is it any wonder why people accuse us of Imperialism? The House impeached Trump for a phone call with Ukranian President Zelensky over some Javelin missiles and asking him to look into “rumors” of corruption by the Biden’s. That was hard to write without laughing hysterically. Be that as it may, the Military Industrial Complex smelled blood in the water and boy have things looked up for their bottom lines. Over 36 members of Congress hold stock in major defense contractors. Twenty are Republican and 16 are Democrat so hey Bipartisanship, it's good to see. The amount of spending and how it has been directed is appalling. We have given so much Military aid we find ourselves short of essentials. Ammunition is kind of important to a standing Army and according to the OMB(Office of Management and Budget) it will take 8 years to replace the ammunition that has been given away. This is to say nothing of the Missile systems, Armored Personnel Carriers, Guns, etc etc. There was never any real oversight put into place to monitor the dispersal of the funds and weapons. It might come as a surprise to learn that the very Rebels the US is actively fighting in Niger, have weapons that have been sold to them by the Ukraine. This is why this aid and support is so sinister. I’m sure everyone has heard that Ukraine is mounting a successful counter offensive against Russian Forces. Nothing could be further from the truth.
With the Republican takeover of the House I knew that Ukranian spending would continue to flow. The fact that the US meddled in this war is not surprising, but the reason is downright insidious. The Neo-Cons and far left saw the opportunity for not only an absolute boon for the defense industry, but also a way to fight Russia by proxy. It is hard to estimate the number of speeches we hear about Freedom and Democracy in Ukraine being the defining issue of our time. It is quite dubious to claim to care for the people of the Ukraine so much and yet the result of the aid has been over 400,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers and a further 1 million wounded or maimed. The US knew perfectly well from day one that the Ukranians had no chance against the Russians. Though attempts at negotiations were made, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went to Ukraine to make sure that under no circumstances would Ukraine sit at the bargaining table. Hence, we may as well light the money on fire, It is essentially what we are doing by sending billions in Military aid to become cannon fodder. All the big money and power has turned Zalensky into the perfect puppet for the US. He went from a well liked Ukranian comedian to a full blown despot in no time. The country is marred by the SBU, Ukraine’s secret police that keep tabs on any form of dissent. One of their first acts was to ban the Eastern Orthodox Church and jail its priests and nuns. Eastern Orthodoxy being the official religion of the Russian Federation, of course they must be spies. The definition of dissent is basically anything negative toward the cause of deposing Vladamir Putin. This can be seen in the revocation of permission to be in the country by many renowned journalists and worse the jailing of citizens. Patrick Lancaster, a freelance investigative journalist found himself in this position for simply reporting the facts on the ground. Since his ban from Ukraine he has gone to the other side and is embedded with Spetsnaz units. He is fluent in Russian and his reports from the other side of the lines really show how much the media is keeping from the people. Therein lies the most serious problem. Post Soviet Russia and the dissolving of the Warsaw Pact Nations saw a great change in Europe. Russia had some stipulations as to its new situation. The most important being that NATO would not allow States that border the Russian Federation to join the organization. A natural buffer seems perfectly logical to most. To the Military Industrial Complex it sees more ways to ignite the very key to their existence; War. Since 2001 and the so-called War on Terror began, defense spending has risen 900%. They want to keep riding that wave. What better way to do it than to keep pumping arms into a failed Fascist State and let them keep on dying. NATO has tested Russia at every turn and Ukraine gets the reprisals of their actions. Of course now that Ukraine cannot really directly engage the Russians on the front lines they have resorted to basically acts of terrorism by lobbing missiles into Moscow. Not to mention the destruction of the Nordstream Pipeline, and the bombing of the Kerch Bridge in Crimea. All the past stipulations have long since been cast aside. The Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have all gained admission to NATO. Poland especially is a massive underhand by the US as it essentially parks tactical nukes right on the BellaRussian border. We’ve put our pieces into play, and it is definitely Russia’s move.
So we have helped to bring about the destruction of an entire generation in Ukraine, where's the US media in all this? Focused on all matters political and not warning the American public that their government is hurling them toward a possible Nuclear Conflict. The days when Zalensky visited the US and thanked us while at the same time demanding more money and equipment were nothing compared to the pure propaganda that dominates American media today. NATO now has the Ukraine on the fast track to membership within the next year. The Mainstream Media reports that the Russians are low on supplies, that the Ukranians are making advances in this war–changing counter offensive. The only thing that has changed is the number of dead on the battlefield. Despite what you may have heard, the Russians outgun the Ukranians as far as manpower by a ratio of 10:1. The amount of artillery, tanks and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) is staggering. That is to say nothing of Russia’s dominance of the skies. Even if the greatest military miracle in history were to happen and NATO led by the US had Putin surrounded, is there anyone who would honestly say with a straight face that he would simply surrender. No, he would push a button that would set into motion the end of civilization as we know it. At every turn more and more lines get crossed and all us plebes can do is wait for what Putin’s response will be. Up to now there has not been any major response by the Kremlin to the acts of War being perpetrated against them by the west. How many times can you prod a sleeping giant before he wakes up and it’s too late. As I have always said, inform yourself. Yes it usually takes scrolling for about 20 minutes to find any form of objective journalism, but I assure you it is out there. I’m trying in my own small way to inform people of the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in. The world is a tinderbox, from the South China Sea, to the Korean Peninsula and all the way to Ukraine we are at Armageddon's doorstep. The American Media has successfully put the blinders on most and individuals like myself are either labeled Pro Russia, or just a looney alarmist. I’ve always been a realist, just ask my wife, it drives her insane sometimes. The reality is that Ukraine is now a tyrannical government with a man drunk on power at the helm. He has of course canceled elections because you can't vote if there is war. Colonel Douglas McGregor, probably the most knowledgeable source on the war in Ukraine has always said “a war has to have an objective”. What is the objective right now in Ukraine? Is NATO and the US actually foolish enough to go to war with Russia? Time will tell, considering the current circumstances I wonder how much time we have left?
(Sources: The Maine Times, ReadSludge.com, The Kiel Institute, The Guardian, Colonel Douglass McGregor, US Army ret. US Office of Management and Budget)
Socializing Suicide: Suicidal Ideation in the world of Social Media by Richard King
As the son of a parent who took their own life, I have a very unique look at Suicide, the Ideation of such thoughts and the perilously dark world of Major Depression Disorder. When I attended my mother's funeral, I felt numb primarily from the long drawn-out process that led to the end. Suicide is very rarely impulsive. It is often only thought about after many weeks or perhaps months of depression and anxiety. As such Suicide became an issue that I had to deal with over a very long and exhausting time. I learned many things about not blaming myself and that if someone is set on the act it is only a matter of time. That has all changed however and the new norm that has been created, is one that is seemingly so benign in its existence, but so devastating in its effects. Boomers especially but also Gen Xers came from a different time. When we were young, if we had an interest in something, one need only go to the library and find an appropriate book. I doubt most contemporary young people have ever seen a card catalog much less know what it is. Unlike previous generations, millennials have always been able to have that instant gratification that most of us so desire. Gone are the days of pouring over books and articles now you need only hit the big G on your home screen. With that alone you have instant access to virtually anything. It's not just the ease of obtaining information but the method of its delivery that is the most worrisome. The Smart Phone is a true marvel. With virtually any modern phone you have in your hands more technology than what was available to the moon landings. As time passed and apps became the newest and coolest thing, we saw the advent of social media. With that advent came an amazing new means of communication and a new disease that would take an already fragile portion of the population and thrust them into a whole new way to feel depressed. Based on every respondent in many major polls it has been found that 71% of individuals age 15-24 have a Facebook account at minimum. Very close behind is Instagram and SnapChat. As someone who thought my mother's experience was rare, I was hit like a sledgehammer with the hard facts. In the age range of 15-24 Suicide is the second leading cause of death. In that same demographic over the last 20 years, we've seen an 87% increase of suicide in females and 30% in males. These increases have also led to a spike in self-harm. Whether we like it or not most adolescents and young adults whether rich or poor have a smart phone and access to social media. For the intended purpose it's a great way to keep up with friends and family and post about good times in one's life. That is not what most young people use social media for unfortunately. Whether it's networking with a group consisting of primarily strangers all the way to endless hours of scrolling, it all contributes to the increase in Suicidal Ideation for adolescents and young adults. Suicidal Ideation is, according to PubMed, "a broad term dealing with a variety of contemplations, wishes and preoccupation with death and Suicide". How does this apply to social media? Let's dive in and find out. The two-hour mark seems to be the dividing line between normal and unhealthy. In other words, use of social media for two hours or less a day is considered fine. Overuse of social media like any other form of excess is an addiction. In many ways the young are managing their addiction through social media. Well over half of the demographic we're discussing only post on social media things that will bring them the most attention. The reason for half of poll respondents reporting to be addicted to their smart phones is due primarily to increased levels of dopamine associated with positive feedback and affirmation. It has advanced to an entire generation of individuals living their lives in so many ways through their phones. With increase in dopamine the result obviously is more time spent on social media. This will inevitably lead to a lack of sleep or proper nutrition and therefor open the door to many negative effects of prolonged use. When one is not affirmed to the level that they hope they experience, what to most my age would seem rather benign, for the individual can be devastating. Young people have the tendency to post about their lives in excessive ways. This is brought on by the need for affirmation and especially the feeling of having a big presence on the platform. It also leads to mimicking behaviors that the individual might not otherwise engage in. Some examples would include sharing pictures that might be morally compromising or fueled by instant gratification, post what seems good in the moment yet is regretted after the passage of mere hours. Most young people go way beyond their friends that they see often to include huge friend bases of people they have never had any physical interaction with at all. This opens them up to interaction with not only toxic and degrading responses but in worse cases, interaction with online predators. That is to say nothing of the effects of Cyberbullying and the horrible ramifications that have happened and continue to do so. The lack of acceptance and the back door to exploitation opened up, young people often quickly fall into depression. Depression that is more often than not accompanied by increased levels of anxiety. This is where the Ideation gains access and the preoccupation and contemplations of death and Suicide take hold. Suddenly Suicide doesn't have to be a 3-year battle with depression, it could amount to merely one compromising photograph going viral and the act of suicide becomes an impulsive decision. Perhaps it is to escape the horrible humiliation or shame that the individual may feel. Maybe it was a case of someone who had been suffering for a very long time. Either way a moments buffoonery turns to an eternity of sorrow. So, in a world where my brand-new phone is replaced by the newest and best 2 weeks after I bought it, how do we tackle this problem with the advances that come. The ease of information flow and ever evolving social platforms only exacerbate a problem that many adults can't resist. How is the undeveloped mind of an adolescent going to process this new torrent of ways to share more and in turn become more vulnerable? As a Libertarian I could never be for regulating free speech. What it comes down to in the end like so many other problems, is parenting. I would hate to relive my teens and early twenties with the modern conveniences that everyone has these days. When I lived those years, cell phones were for the affluent and they weren't exactly very spectacular. Now a person can purchase and activate a smart phone from 7-11. I've been very lucky in that my children are hardly worried about a large social media presence. My kids mainly communicate with their friends only and it is more of a message service. I would easily make the assertion that my family seems to be the exception not the rule. How do you fight something that is required to communicate. Trying to resist it is an exercise in futility. I knew phones would be a great convenience, I never dreamed they would be what they are now. The pressure placed on young people to use social media must be immense. This is one of those truths that is just not talked about near enough. We live in a time when people can get attention so easily. In the old days a person writing a new song might end up at a gig with a record exec or two. That would only cone after months on the road playing wherever they would have them. Now you can put your song on TikTok and if it's good enough it will gain the attention of millions. Is it any wonder that girls or boys starved for attention would start an Only Fans account looking for a form of adoration. In conclusion, I believe that there should be great responsibility and care taken by Social Media platforms. Will they do it, highly doubtful. At the end of the day, they run a business and though this new rise in suicide relates directly to their livelihood it will not be dealt with in any meaningful way. They will post a suicide hot line number and call it good. The only way to impact this in a positive way is for parents to be more proactive in what it is that they're children are reading and posting. What adolescents learn transforms who they are going into the late teens and early adulthood. So many parents are just as bad as their kids on social media so the outlook seems grim. Remember these millennial generations are going to be the ones that shape an ever-evolving society. I would hope most to want as many free thinkers as we can get. At the rate we are going the most poignant and intellectual are going to be the ones whose content was given the most likes and re-tweets. Bring awareness to the problem before it gets worse. Being a free thinker who is recognized for their intelligence is not a bad thing. It is not a punchline. It is quite possibly the best affirmation you could ever receive.
Sources:University of Utah Health, Brigham Young University Studies, Centers for Disease Control, Healios News and PubMed