According to The Atlantic, social media websites are causing mass psychogenic illness (aka mass hysteria) to make a comeback by making people unconsciously believe "they've been exposed to the same harmful toxin" and as a result, "to experience the same symptoms."
According to Bartholomew, there is "potential for a far greater or global episode, unless we quickly understand how social media is, for the first time, acting as the primary vector or agent of spread for conversion disorder." He believes that epidemics spread by social media are "inevitable" and that "it's just a matter of time before we see outbreaks that are not just confined to a single school or factory or even region, but covering a disperse geographical area and causing real social and economic harm."
Le Roy was the first majorly reported case during the era of social media. But there is another significant, related detail of the Le Roy case that sets it apart from the scores of mass hysteria that had come before it.
Marge Fitzsimmons, a 36-year-old nurse in town, also "caught" the disease. Bartholomew said that it's not unheard of for one or two adults to be affected, but he cannot recall any cases like Marge's, in which the adults were not intimately involved with the children suffering from the malady. Marge said that she knew about what was going on in town mainly through Facebook postings.
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