Massacre suspect shunned social media

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When a new name makes it to the headlines, we customarily rush to search about him on the internet. News outlets and observers alike turn to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn as social media is expected to shed light on that individual’s personality.

However, 24-year-old Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others at a movie theatre in Colorado, left nearly no online footprint. Law enforcement agencies and the media investigating the massacre discovered no traces of him online, except for a possible account at Adult Friend Finder.

His lack of online presence has emerged as a puzzle piece for people looking for answers about the horrific crime.

“We could ask the same questions about the lack of Web presence that we could for anyone who isolates themselves. Was he socially isolated in all senses?” asked Pamela Rutledge, Director at the Media Psychology Research Center.

According to Rutledge, being isolated from one’s peers can increase the negative effects of stress and heighten the chance of psychopathic behaviour. However, she is still in the dark as to what drove Holmes to commit such an act.

Whatever Holmes’s reasons, his nonexistent online presence makes him a rarity among his peers. Around 81 percent of people aged 18 to 29 in the United States use social media on occasion, noted Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center.

Moreover, surveys reveal that college students like Holmes, who was a graduate neuroscience student at the University of Colorado, are more likely to utilise social media.


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