Social media has lowered the bar on what people will do to create a shock factor.
For me, it seems that people will do and say things from behind the shield of their computer just to get a rise out of people they probably won't ever meet face- to- face. Does that make them bold or brave? There are people I know personally whom I see write comments on social media sites, but would never speak up at a public forum about anything.
People are generally lured into gossip and drama, but on social media they seem to seek it out. I've always reminded myself to consider the source -- to look for facts and find credible information.
I am often told from Indiana Central News site visitors, when I meet them out and about in the community, that they look for the jail log daily. They seem surprised when they recognize a name on the list. Drawing a large younger adult audience, Indiana Central News also fields several emails on relevant topics from people mostly ranging in ages 20s to 30s.
One recent message was received this week after an expectant mother posted a photo of herself on Facebook holding a cigarette. The male email writer to ICN urged someone to help the expectant mother and sent me a screenshot with the photo and a few comments posted by others.
Reportedly a resident of southern Indiana, the young woman was defending the choice to smoke throughout her pregnancy, eliciting hundreds of responses from "haters." She has several "friends" and supporters of her photo as well. It seems to be going viral -- while making her more proud-- with thousands of shares in a just a couple days.
Many, in general, do wish to have a voice and to share their opinions with someone. Sometimes they seem to want to have a platform to make a wave --and on the internet, anything goes for some individuals. It's a mentality similar to a public school cafeteria where you would sit with your little group and comment on whomever and about whatever with your peers.
This is how our society is communicating now -- all ages. When I was 20 and pregnant in 1993, I quit smoking right when the test came back positive. There was no social media for me to alert the world that I was pregnant or even that I was kicking the habit of smoking. And then I breastfed, which is an entirely separate social media scandal.
This expectant mother could continue on with her choices and the world would not know or care -- until she made it public on Facebook.
Since the profile is public, I will share this example with the above photo on my blog.
Ashley Shepperd posted the photo on Facebook the night of June 29. She wrote:
---- Before people run their mouth, yes I'm smoking a cig, no its not the healthiest thing to do, but at least I'm not like most bitches and doing drugs, my daughter is healthy and that's all that matters :)
A sampling of responses:
--- Tbh I'm just laughing at the comments that say "they're just jealous."
---- For women that get pregnant that smoke like a pack a day a dr will suggest they continue smoking because the withdrawal symptoms can cause more harm at the time in the beginning with development and everything. With that said they mean if you must continue only like 1 to 2 a day. Quitting should be the main focus but some people can't quit and yes smoking during pregnancy is absolutely awful but it is a drug and it is addictive and I would be more "supportive" if it was only 1 cigarette vs 10 or more a day. I don't smoke and I totally agree it's bad and everything but through family members I have seen the struggle of quitting. So it's not always on the mother some Drs do give that advice based on their Health and smoking habits.
---- It's not that I don't believe this is true, it's that they are dismissing the effects of cigarette smoking because she isn't doing meth. She is very uneducated and it shows. It's dangerous for her to not know what she is doing to her child
Journalist, Terre Haute
Lucy Perry, 45, enjoys writing about issues in her hometown. She periodically expresses personal opinions in her blog, Terre Haute Times.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141