Breaking up, being fat and other topics

January 29, 2015

Mike Wilcox

Mike Wilcox

I thought I would share some controversial topics that are considered the “most talked about” issues on social media. Here goes:

Relationships. Here are some interesting statistics. Did you know 48% of men fall in love at first sight? Would you believe only 28% of women do the same? Another amazing statistic- 33% of us in a relationship have considered breaking-up after watching a TV show or movie. And then of course there is the old adage that “money can’t make you happy.” Apparently it’s true as couples who earn less than $20,000 a year argue far less that those making over $250,000 a year.

If relationships are the most talked about social media issue, marijuana and its legalization is a close second. A few facts are in order. Did you know if the feds legalized marijuana the potential tax revenue could be as high as $1,400,000,000? You read it right- nearly a billion and a half. Legalizing marijuana however, would put a crimp in our legal system. In 2012 alone, 749,825 people were arrested for a marijuana law violation. Currently 20 states allow the medical usage of marijuana and of course the drug is legalized in totality in Colorado and Washington.

Health care is always a topic for most of us. I’m not sure it’s getting better or worse, but one statistic claim that nearly 100,000 patients died due to medical errors in 2012. That blows my mind. Despite so much attention being paid to eating right and exercising regularly, 17% of our children are considered obese. But even worse, 68% of adults over 20 are considered overweight.

A lot of social media discussion has centered around global warming, which is essentially an increase in the earth’s average surface temperature caused by carbon dioxide emission from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation. It’s hard to imagine temperatures are on the rise as I sit here writing this, and my automobile temp gauge says its -1, but experts say it is true. The polar ice caps are melting and shrinking at an alarming rate, and could cause dangerous climate change if we don’t address the problem.

The death penalty has been an issue since most of us have been born. It simply doesn’t go away, and currently 34 states offer capital punishment. From 1977 to 2010, 1188 people have been executed, with another 17,833 people under a death sentence worldwide. Even though the most common method of capital punishment, lethal injection, has taken some flak, it is still preferred by a large number of executioners- 85%. Other methods include the electric chair (13.1%); the gas chamber (0.9%); hanging (0.3%); and considered least humane, the firing squad (0.2%).

Interestingly enough, plastic surgery is on the minds of many of us, particularly women, who account for 91% of the 14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic surgery followed by nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelift. Nearly 50% of the women seeking cosmetic surgery are in their 40’s or early 50’s.

Being in the newspaper business, I am glad that a lot of people are discussing illiteracy on social media. It is and has been a worldwide problem for some time. Did you know 1 in 4 children in America (yes, I wrote America) grow up without learning how to read. That means 122 million youth are currently illiterate. Another startling statistic is that 85% of juveniles who are facing a criminal trial are deemed illiterate. Worldwide 1 in 5 people are illiterate. That rate climbs to 98% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Some of these issues have been with us for generations, while others are relatively new. I hope our generation can resolve a good share of them. Health care, or the cost of it, has become a bigger problem since many of the baby boomers now require care. Marijuana legalization, although not a life or death issue, will eventually be legalized everywhere. And my favorite, illiteracy, will continue to plague America and the world, although my optimistic outlook sees it diminishing as time marches on.


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