Social apps linked to rise of STDs

woman-with-smartphone

He seems nice but why does he keep referencing his selfie stick? (AP photo for unrelated story)

I’ve always thought of social apps (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) as good clean fun.

For a while, it gave me a job, but it took took me away from covering the news that really matters.

As directors of romantic comedies are wont to do, humans took something pleasant and made it all about sex.

Now we’ve got apps on our phones that help people hook up and these digital demons are being blamed for a historic rise in STD rates.

Health officials in Rhode Island, who I am not sure we can trust since they think their state is an island, say the Tinder app, which functions much like a high-tech Rolodex for sex-starved young millennials, is partially to blame for sexually transmitted diseases being “way up.”

How much higher is way up? Between 2013 and 2014, cases of syphilis grew by 79 percent, reports CNN.

HIV infections were up 33 percent and gonorrhea cases increased by 30 percent.

STD cases for young adults, who actually know how to download and use smartphone apps, are growing at a faster rate than those using a Jitterbug.

Health officials in New Zealand, which is an island but doesn’t feel the need to brag about it, say more than half of all syphilis cases in 2012 can be linked to the Grindr app, a hookup app for gay men that CNN spells incorrectly.

Are STD rates up in Georgia? The data suggests yes with chlamydia and syphilis being up slightly and gonorrhea rates essentially unchanged. Georgia, in case you don’t know, is an STD hotbed. The state ranks 7th in chlamydia, 6th in gonorrhea and 3rd in syphilis rates.

My advice? Put down the phone and try swiping romance at a bar or church like your grandparents used to do it.

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