Recently in the Wall Street Journal there were some stats on what people think about us reaching the 7 billion person mark. In its sentiment tracker section, it had a "computational analysis of the conversation on social networks" about hitting 7 billion. Based on the analysis of 1,700 posts on twitter and facebook between October 31 and November 4, it listed 4 response categories: Worry, Optimism, Jokes, and Astonishment. In what section were the most responses?
I am relieved to say they were in the "Worry" category. And one of the highlighted comment areas gave me optimistic pause, "It's time to stop having kids." When it comes to trying to ensure a population that can live with the earth's finite resources, do we need to curb consumption? Yes. Work to have better access to birth control and family planning globally? Yes. Some experts seem to think if we do either of these things, it will solve the problem. Others say no. According to World Population Balance--To become sustainable with Earth’s resources, these things are important, but "large declines in human numbers" will also be necessary.
In the November 4 edition of USA Today, there was an article that is not so unrelated to our population issues. Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today had a short column titled, "Adoption Month is time to think of kids." In a time when we need to reduce the number of births, doing more to promote adoption is a great thing. Neuharth touts his positive experience with adoption, but still paints it as an option if you can't have your own biological child.
In Adoption Month I sure would like to see more in the media promoting adoption, not as the last option but as the first option when you are a wanna be parent. I hear there are problems with the adoption process, but also read that these problems are often myths. I am no expert in this area, but it seems that if there are problems with the adoption process, now is the time to get about fixing them, not just for the kids', adoptive parents' sake, but the world's sake.
In what category would you have put yourself in the Sentiment Tracker analysis-Worry, Optimism, Joke, or Astonishment? What would your comment have been, if yours was one of the 1,700? What are your thoughts on how to change mindsets on adoption?
Childfree author of Families of Two
blogging at La Vie Childfree http://lauracarroll.com
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