It is quite disturbing to observe the recently numerous, national incidences of shockingly gro-tesque assaults and murders.

More disturbing still is how many Internet media outlets and some traditional media have incontrovertibly exploited these tragedies for their own popularity and thus financial gain.

These cases have become sensationalized distractions, fictionalized as a “Zombie Apocalypse,” rather than having been reported as a potential trend, with seriously grave health, societal and law enforcement implications. This reeks more like a television advertising stunt than journalism.

Such reporting trivializes a growing social problem, quite callously. It fails to inform and direct dialogue toward problem-solving, sound courses of action. For many vulnerable individuals, such reporting, especially in hard times, only creates a sense of surreal hopelessness and an unhealthy preoccupation.

I’m proud to live in Maine, where the seriousness of MDPV substance abuse (also known as “bath salts”) was first covered more than a year ago, in a socially responsible and edifying manner by our fine daily newspapers.

As technology consumers, we need to use our “clicks” wisely and avoid Internet media that solely seek to contrive mindless, demoralizing memes.

Jo Ann Lariño-Greves, Augusta

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