Disasters, Social Media Fuel "End Of World" Talk

As the world watches the events unfold in Japan, the internet is lighting up with comments that these disasters are signs that the world is ending...talk being fueled even more by the times were living in.

News updates, thoughts, prayers and relief are pouring in on websites like Facebook and Twitter. But some see more than just suffering. They say this and other major disasters may mean the end of the world is near. Tiara Powell says, " With all the stuff that's happening, through all the tsunamis and earthquakes, I think it is getting close."

Calvin Mercer is an associate professor of religious studies at East Carolina University. He says this apocalyptic thinking is not new. It's the real-time access to events that gives "end of days" thinking a global, real-time audience. "Social media, I do think, changes everything. These images are more in our face. And so people maybe are responding more quickly and maybe there's more opportunity for the circulation of of these apocalyptic scenarios."

Margaret Ann Stubblefield says she was sitting in class at ECU when someone handed her their phone with a Twitter message finding eerie similarities among recent tragedies and the number 11 and a bible verse.

Mercer says throughout history groups have made claims only to be discredited when doomsday dates come and go. But he says the internet brings a new twist to the millenia old thinking.

The next big date on many people's radar is December 21, 2012. That's apparantly the last day recorded on the Mayan civilization's long count calendar. Many of the Twitter posts make reference to that date because the digits in 12-21-2012 add up to 11. Of course that date has its share of believers and skeptics.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Endurance Swimmer Location: On Mars on Mar 18, 2011 at 11:24 PM
    Formerly The Voice and Dave, I agree with you guys 100%! Dexter is spot on also! This is all just silly! Anyone remember Y2K, the world was supposed end, or something to the effect!!
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Mar 18, 2011 at 04:36 PM
    Formerly THE Voice Location: Berkeley, CA, In NC icewater is free for now...stock up...and don't got to the room with the donut breaks...its a facade!
  • by Ed Location: ENC on Mar 18, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    I don't know whether the world is coming to an end or not, but if citizens of the world can't change the way their goverments operate we will all wish we were dead,and the USA IS UP NEAR THE TOP OF THE LIST.
  • by Formerly THE Voice Location: Berkeley, CA on Mar 18, 2011 at 04:23 PM
    Pure nonsense. Anyone who believes all of this also believes the spooky father figure in the sky with the hippie carpenter son story.
  • by DeltaDeltaSierra Location: ENC on Mar 18, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    Well....the Bible does mention these disasters being more frequent when the end is near. But the end of the world is not near. It will last for at least 1000 more years after Christ returns... Yeah Yeah Yeah..naysayers can jump off the cliff. Better now than face the wrath of God then.
  • by Obama Snake Oil co Location: Washington on Mar 18, 2011 at 01:31 PM
    Brian O'Rielly, how about post the link that dissproved it? Don't bother to send a huffington post, media matters or moveon.org...Soro pays them money for them to post their hooey...oh, a few more as well. http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/08/shorebank-shut-down-by-fdic.html
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    But what if the Hindu or Buddhist gods come first. What happens to us Christians? :(
  • by Dave Location: Closer on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM
    God Schmod!! The end of the world is near and there is no imaginary entity that's going to put a stop to it!
  • by Dexter Location: ENC on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM
    God doesn't need to end the world (or a better discription would be "end humanity"). Mankind will end humanity without God or Satan or the Anti-christ ever having to lift a finger. We are just circling the drain, getting closer and closer. Maybe the Earth needs to be rid of mankind. Maybe something better would spring up in mankinds place.
  • by BLAHammed on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM
    Some of you need to fly away on the mothership with Farrakhan.May Allah be with you.
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