Regardless of its original purpose or aspirations, there is no doubt that social media has changed the landscape of social and political activism. As its popularity has grown amongst both renowned and everyday users, so too it has developed a wider range of tools to assist professional and organized applications rather than the mere basics of social interaction. This evolution has seen social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter become perfectly placed for those without authority to voice their opinions and plan group collaborations and organized protests.
From Humble Origins
Undoubtedly, Facebook has set the prevailing trends in social media, and is the model from which other similar outlets take their leave. From its clear and humble origins as a social mediator and connector of faded friendships, it has mastered the tools of remote interaction before stepping authoritatively into the interwoven worlds of business and politics. Considering that it has only existed for over 5 years, this evolution of its services has been both swift and exceptionally well directed.
Twitter has adopted a similar patter on growth, and has broadened its appeal both in terms of available services and its user demographics. While initially considered something as a novelty consideration endorsed chiefly by celebrities and renowned entities, it has become a viable medium for the whole of society to share their thoughts, activities and concepts of enterprise. Twitter, like Facebook, has taken great strides to lend itself to the needs of corporate and political groups, and now forms the basis of many successful business marketing and government campaigns.
Doctors exist to serve the well being of society, and the role is often considered to be more vocational than merely perfunctory. Aside from the many years of dedication and academic work that needs to be invested in making a medical career possible, the role itself requires a great deal of commitment and communication skill in order to be performed successfully. Traditionally, doctors have been expected to treat patients without exception or a process of selection, and also regardless of their own beliefs or ethical values.
However, in recent times doctors have sought to take an increasingly hard line and moralistic attitude towards treating their patients, applying more stringent conditions to potential visitors. An example of this surrounds the controversial notion of vaccinating children against diseases, and a rising number of doctors are refusing to retain or treat patients who refrain from allowing their offspring to subject various vaccinations.While this action is supported in policy that allows doctors to retain a right to refuse treatment of individual moral grounds, the question remains as to whether this appropriate to their role as ethical service providers.
Why Do Parents not Vaccinate Their Children?
The statistics are less than specific, but physicians themselves suggest that there is a growing number amongst them who adopt an unswerving policy to treating unvaccinated children. In fact, there are increasing instances where doctors have spent several months advising and educating parents in the benefits of individual vaccinations, only to refer them elsewhere when they continually refuse to let their children be immunised. While some physicians claim that this decision is taken predominantly to protect other children who are considered at an increased risk of illness, there is an undoubted sense of morality and individual selection being applied to their decision making processes.
As the US continues to witness civilized protests and an increasing display of social unrest, it would be easy to assume that the nation is in the midst of a truly challenging and difficult set of circumstances. While this may be true in some respects, it may be considered a view without the requisite level of perspective, as any issue that the country is currently experiencing pale into significance when compared with those of previous generations. Social issues are always relative however, both to the time and specific demographics, and need to be considered on their own merits accordingly.
This was exemplified and drawn into focus earlier this week, as it was revealed that the last remaining US survivor of World War 1 died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday. Frank Buckles of West Virginia had celebrated his 110th birthday on February 1st, and as he passed so too did the final living reminder of one of histories most ill conceived and barbaric wars. With this in mind, it is interesting to consider the magnitude of social issues between generations, and understand the role that governments play in cultivating trust and perspective within society.
The Changing Perception of Hardship
As Frank Buckles passing comes at a time of social discord, it is an opportunity to apply this perspective to contemporary USA and draw conclusions from its current situation. The first thing that becomes apparent is how the perception of hardship has evolved over the generations, which is obviously a clear consequence of progression and technological advancement. As living conditions improve in terms of health, technology and privilege, so too individuals become accustomed to particular standards and expect more from their existence.
Democracy is the evocation of free speech and independent thinking, built upon a foundation of inherent family values. In accordance with this, large and growing families are a feature of liberal civilizations, as adults have the choice to procreate and raise children without any restrictions or limits to their number. This is considered by many to be a basic right of adults within a civilized and democratic society, and one that should be trusted to an individuals discretion and decision making capabilities.
This way of thinking is not prevalent globally, and other cultures and government regimes have taken steps to restrict the rights of procreation in their respective countries. China is the most notable example, who reacted to their vast population increases with the implementation of a one child family policy. This applies legislation and guidelines as to how many children a family can have, and though conceived in the wider interests of society, it is often devalued in western culture as being both draconian and unnecessary.
Are Governments doing Enough to Curb Rising Populations?
However, as the US population soars towards 310 million at an average increase of 250,000 people per year, there are is an increasing concern with the pressure that is being placed on natural and financial resources. This population rise is part of a global trend, and its escalation is often linked to the prominence of poverty in both poor and wealthy nations. With this in mind, it would seem that a more balanced equilibrium needs to be found between maintaining human rights and the welfare of society at large.