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Thursday 13th August 2020,
Hope for Nigeria

The dark side of social media could kill you

Web-based social media sites and applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are not fads; they are here to stay. Social media has altered the landscape of communication indefinitely.

Today, you can network with other creatives in your field, who inhabit all areas of the globe, with just a keystroke. Social media has increased our professional networking opportunities for more opportunities than ever.

Social media has given us a way to stay in touch with our childhood friends and even makes long-distance dating more realistic.

Social media has also increased our access to information, which may not always be a good thing.

In more recent weeks I have seen an increase in videos infiltrating my Facebook feed. The videos vary in topic from funny pop culture spoofs to informational discussing like TED talks.

Then, I ran across a video a few days ago that completely blew my mind. The description of the video was something like “get drunk without drinking.”

As a pop culture aficionado, I was intrigued and clicked on the link.

In the video, a guy, who appeared to be in his late 20s, was standing in his kitchen with a plastic bottle explaining that he knew the secrets of getting drunk without actually drinking alcohol.

After a few minutes of watching the guy rant about his experience and how his method carries no calories or hangover as side effects, he finally proceeds to show viewers just how to do this mystery drinking.

The guy in the video proceeds to take the plastic bottle, which is one-third of the way full with vodka, and places a cork in the bottle. He sticks a needle attached to a hand pump into the cork and begins to manually pump the contraption.

After the bottle becomes firm, the guy in the video un-corks the bottle and breathes in a vapor, which materialized into the bottle.

This is called vaporizing alcohol.

I was stunned that someone so boldly posted this on Facebook, which could be seen and used to abuse alcohol by countless people, especially teens.

Joseph V. Ryan Jr., manager of the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, hosted an educational session during the monthly Jarrettsville Community Council meeting last week.

During the session, Ryan just so happened to mention vaporizing alcohol as a growing trend, especially among young teenagers. Ryan confirmed that vaporizing alcohol is a way to get drunk quicker – since it goes directly into the brain and bloodstream, skipping the stomach – and no caloric intake.

Then he said, “the problem with this method is that if you ingest too much of the vapor into your system, your body will go into shock and it will kill you.”

While social media may help to get information to the masses quickly, it may not always depict a completely accurate picture of potential threats or misconceptions, especially for those – like teenagers – who are less likely to research trends or ideas before trying them.

Tons of people try things they find via social media. Look at all the people who regularly try out DIY projects they see on Pinterest, and how many of those projects fail miserably. There are even blogs dedicated to Pinterest DIY project fails.

I love social media and can be found on just about any platform imaginable. (That means you should go ahead and whip out your smartphone and follow me on Twitter: @KrishanaDavis.)

But, I would also caution people to be very cynical and skeptical about the information you receive via social media. It could kill you.

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