I've always been a conspiracy theorist. As a natural-born cynic, questioning people, institutions, and most especially the government, is second nature to me. I remember years ago, when I was in like, middle school, I would research new theories online and spend hours looking at videos, articles, etc. that aimed to explain the mysteries and injustices filtered throughout the world (I believe Bush did 9/11 before it became a meme).

Alas, my interest since then has not faltered, and with Youtubers like Shane Dawson and Michelle Platti cranking out new videos dedicated to conspiracy theories, I might have become an even greater theorist. But now it's cool to do. So at least if I seem crazy to the rest of the world, I have a group of people behind me ready to look crazy too. Interested to see what new theories people have come up with? Check them out below.

1. Our brains are being programmed by social media

This theory is an extension of one of the most popular theories in the world, which is that government officials and other powerful people (aka the Illuminati) are working together to brainwash the masses in order to create a "New World Order" (sounds creepy, right?). This theory gained steam after Facebook's "secret mood experiment," which was an experiment conducted by the site that screened users' news feed in order to manipulate their emotions. Results showed that people exposed to positive images were more likely to post happier statuses, while it was the opposite for users only shown negative or sad images.

If Facebook is already manipulating users' emotions, what else are these megacorporations doing without our knowledge? Some people believe social media is being used to sway political and social opinions, which will be the catalyst for the U.S. beginning to operate under martial law (more mass outrage/protests = more police force).

Dismal, I know.

2. The government is creating a new disease, and they killed a CDC scientist to cover it up

Timothy Cunningham was an accomplished CDC scientist that helped with outbreaks such as Zika and Ebola. He was so accomplished that he even received the "40 under 40" award for his professional work. In February, Cunningham went missing, leaving behind his personal belongings such as his car, dog, and cellphone. That wasn't even the most suspicious part. After leaving work early because he felt sick, Cunningham called his mother and sister, then told his neighbor to delete his number from her phone.

Two months later, he was found dead in the Atlanta river.

This, of course, caused the conspiracy theory community to light up with dozens of explanations for his bizarre disappearance. Some believe that he may have been a victim of organ harvesting, a problem they say is especially prominent within the Black community (this is a serious rabbit hole... if you want to get deeply invested into a theory, check this one out). But the most popular theory was that Cunningham was prepositioned by the CDC to work on engineering a new, highly contagious and lethal disease they would release to the public to aid in population control. After not complying (remember, Cunningham was deeply devoted to his work and helping others), he fled, but was captured and killed by the government.

Whew, that one is a doozy (but also pretty damn convincing).

3. Racial tension has been influenced by the government to start a "race war"

This theory is probably just a way for people to cope with the harsh realization that our society is pretty darn racist, but I have to admit, it definitely could be true. I know that for someone like me (who is obsessed with race theory and eliminating White supremacy), it's a little hard to believe that I could entertain this idea, but look at the evidence first. Conspiracy theorists believe that some recent events have been too close in proximity to one another or too blatantly racist to actually be realistically perpetrated.

For instance, the Trump presidency. While always an outspoken man, Trump was never outright racist or xenophobic (he was always a sexist dick, however) until he ran for president. It's something theorists believe was orchestrated by the Illuminati (or Free Masons or lizard people. It really depends on what theory you subscribe to).

Another example is the back-to-back incidents involving Black people being either a) removed from public places (or not being able to use the restroom, like in the Starbucks incident) or b) having the cops called on them for arbitrary reasons (like in Oakland, where a White woman called on a group of Black people for LEGALLY barbecuing in the park). As isolated incidents, these all sound highly plausible and expectable from American society, but when viewed as a series of events set in motion since 2016 (right around the time of the presidential election), things start to get a little suspicious.

I mean, ask yourself: Why are all of these incidents happening now? Smartphones, recording devices, and social media have been around for many years now, so we can't use the excuse of technology allowing us to finally share these injustices widely. Conspiracy theorists believe that the government wants to raise tension between racial groups in order to divide the American people and make us easier to control, as we will be too preoccupied with hating each other to question what the government is doing (and then they can ship us off to FEMA camps without any issues).

Just food for thought.

4. People will be assigned a "social" score in order to quell resistance from the government

This theory was brought to my attention by YouTuber Moe Othman, a self-proclaimed "insider" with special knowledge of government affairs. I highly recommend going to watch his YouTube video, where this theory is addressed more in-depth. The theory pretty much suggests that in the coming years, the government will begin a new program where they assign "social scores" to citizens. Social scores are sort of like social security numbers. They are unique to each person and are a way of identifying them or obtaining information about them. With social scores, the government would deduct or add points based on behavior. For example, if a person were to commit a crime, their social score would decrease (points deducted).

Theorists believe this social score system could then be used to silence the masses and bring about an age of censorship. The government would have the power to deduct points from citizens who question, challenge, or offend the government. The catch to this is that the score would not just be a way of judging people's moral character, but it would stop people from being able to buy and sell goods, real estate, or even apply for licenses. The government would essentially punish people to death (how can you live if you can't even buy food or rent an apartment?) just for using their first amendment right... Yikes.

5. The year isn't 2018. It's actually 1721

Okay, this conspiracy theory actually isn't new. It started popping up circa 2009. But I just love it so much that I had to mention it. According to the Phantom Time Hypothesis, a portion of the Middle Ages never existed; instead, they were faked by "Pope Sylvester II, Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII [who] got together and changed the calendar to make it seem as if Otto had begun his reign in the millennial year of 1000 AD, rather than 996" (allthatsinteresting.com). Due to their initial tampering, they ended up forging 297 years of history that didn't actually happen.

This sounds crazy, but German theorist Heribert Illig actually claims to have archaeological proof. Not only that, but if it actually is 1721, that would explain why the 2012 doomsday apocalypse didn't happen, and why the Yellowstone super-volcano eruption hasn't happened yet (super-volcanos erupt on a 600,000-year cycle. It has now been 640,000 years since the last one).

Who knows? Maybe conspiracy theorists had it right with Y2K as well. They were just 279 years early.

Regardless of whether these theories are true or not, we can all agree that they're interesting to read about. Don't get too terrified behind these ideas, though. Remember, conspiracy theorists are also the same group of people that claim the Earth is flat.