Instagram Ruins Nature Sites By Making Them Too Popular
Thanks to geotagging -- embedding information about where a photo was taken, whether accidentally or on purpose -- taking selfies with exotic animals puts all those adorable emus in danger by leading poachers right to them. Well, we're going to assume that all the emus are gone, because geotagging is now ruining nature itself.
It typically goes like this: Someone posts a photo of a majestic waterfall or mountain view or whatever people look at when they go outside. A bunch of people share it, awed by its beauty, and some of those people think, "Hey, I would also like to see that waterfall or mountain or whatever." If the post is geotagged, they can find out exactly where it is, so all that's left to do is buy a plane ticket and some hiking boots. The next thing you know, a hot spring in Colorado has to shut down for a while to clean up a staggering amount of human feces.
Sam Brasch/Colorado Public Radio"I wonder if it's too late to get my real estate license?" -- every park ranger in Colorado
What makes these sites attractive is that they're secluded and peaceful, but that also means they are not equipped for 40,000 people to show up overnight. That's not an exaggeration. It used to be unusual to see someone who wasn't one of the couple hundred locals hiking the trail at Kanarraville Falls in Utah, but thanks to a social media explosion, 40,000 people visited in 2015. It caused a number of disasters, including damaging the water system of the whole town of Kanarraville because people kept walking on the water line.
Ironically, the number of people visiting a site can destroy what made it popular in the first place. A part of the Colorado River called Horseshoe Bend used to see maybe 1,000 visitors per year. In 2017, it topped 4,000 per day, necessitating the construction of a parking lot to the tune of over $200,000 to accommodate the traffic. They literally paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
Social Media Is Causing All Sorts Of Problems In Courtrooms
Complaining about the kids these days being surgically attached to their phones is generally the territory of old men wearing unfashionable pants, but when people can't stop tweeting long enough to serve jury duty, we have to concede that they may have a point. Between capital murder convictions getting overturned due in part to jurors tweeting during deliberation to extensive appeals also due to tweeting, it's become an enormous headache for everyone involved. Even something as minor as being Facebook friends with a family member of someone involved with the case has been used as grounds to file for mistrial.
Arkansas Times"OMG this lawyer is STILL talking. Wrap it up, it's Margarita Monday! #ProbablyGuilty #MoreLikeCapitalSnore-der"