We’ve all been hearing about them. We hear about how they creepily walk the streets at night, chasing unsuspecting citizens back to their campuses, apartments, and houses. We all have been locking our doors a little more often lately as the media dubbed clown epidemic sweeps the nation.
My college campus has had its own fair share of clown sightings over the last couple of weeks. Many students insist they are real. Some say they have been chased across campus, while many have yet to spot a clown. A lot of people insist there have not been any clowns. However, it does not really matter what people have and haven’t seen. The fear is still very present in the air.
The sightings started back in August, supposedly in South Carolina, but they have quickly spread throughout the country as well as to other countries. The sightings have caused widespread thinning of law enforcement as they struggle to keep up. They have also prompted multiple high school and college lockdowns. Many videos of clown encounters have been posted to social media. Some clowns just act idly creepy, while others chase their victims. Some victims refuse to be chased, so they fight back instead, which has landed many prankers in hospitals.
There are many reasons why we have the clown epidemic. Many speculate that they started as publicity for the upcoming remake of It, and the publicity stunt happened to go viral. Others simply blame it on Halloween. I believe the strongest of the reasons that we have a clown problem is ourselves and our addiction to social media.
Many social media pages have been created to reflect the clown panic. According to The Verge, there have only been about 100 reported sightings so far, but social media has done plenty to make it seem like there are thousands more, making it a bigger problem than it actually is. Social media has also allowed the panic to begin in the first place. It started with a stupid prank in South Carolina, but now there are sightings all over the country. Just imagine how Halloween is going to be this year.
The reason why clowns are such an issue is because we are paying attention to them. We are feeding into the fear that they are aiming to cause in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I do not expect people to just ignore a clown that runs toward you. It is a potential personal safety issue.
However, I really encourage people not to talk up the issue. Don’t follow the social media pages that are feeding this panic. Don’t talk to your friends and acquaintances about how terrified you are of the clowns. That will domino effect to cause others to talk about the clowns, which will only encourage them. I am guilty of this as well, but we can all make a simple change in our lives and ignore the clowns.
There are people, like me, that do not generally have a fear of clowns. However, I know a handful of people that are terrified of a clown at a birthday party, let alone one standing outside their door at midnight. The longer we perpetuate the clown epidemic, the more these people suffer. I could not imagine being as terrified as these people probably are.
So, let’s all make an effort. Hopefully, we can end this clown nonsense as quickly as it began.