What’s Up World? #15

Published on MTV’s international pro-social website MTV Voices on 06.02.13

What’s Up World?
Between the cracks of the world’s news headlines

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Facebook ‘rampant with envy’

A few weeks back we discussed the anxiety that can come from having too many Facebook friends and the stress of trying to keep them all happy. But have you ever logged off from Facebook (or any social networking site for that matter) feeling miserable, lonely, inferior or generally worse than before you went on? You have? Then you’re not alone.

Researchers in Berlin, Germany say one in three of us are having negative experiences when using Facebook, triggered by what they call rampant envy.

The frustration, they say, mainly comes from comparing ourselves to others socially or feeling a lack of attention, like if our posts or photos don’t receive as many comments or ‘likes’ as other people’s.

The dark side of the Bowl

Amidst the hype, the glamour, the million dollar ads and the half-time wardrobe malfunctions of the annual extravaganza that is the Super Bowl lies a disturbing reality: the sporting event is the single largest magnet for sex trafficking and child prostitution in the USA, according to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Like other sporting events such as the World Cupand the Olympic Games, the Super Bowl generates a spike in sex trafficking activity every year.

One New Orleans-based campaigner Clemmie Greenlee was herself abducted and trafficked into forced prostitution at the age of 12. Her account of being made to service events like the Super Bowl is worth a read.

Wombs for rent

It seems Madonna isn’t the only one to turn to the third world to fulfill her maternal desires. Couples in affluent countries like Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Japan and the USA who can’t have their own children are turning to India’s ‘rent-a-womb’ industry in their tens of thousands.

While advertising to find surrogate mothers is illegal in some countries, the business is booming in India. With around 1000 surrogacy centres now open, it’s worth an estimated $2.3 billion per year.

In a country with such widespread poverty as India, the money available to women who will incubate other people’s eggs is potentially life changing. Surrogates can rent their wombs out for between $16,000 and $32,000, whereas the average annual income is just $1527.

What do you think? Biological exploitation or an opportunity for families to be happy?

How far would you push it for charity?

If your answer was “1.5km”, this may be right up your street. The 5th annual Pattaya International Bed Racetook place in Thailand last week and it looked like fun!

Around 200 people in wigs, make up and lairy dress-ups raced 32 decorated beds through the beach-side town to raise money for local charities. Amongst the beneficiaries was the Father Ray Foundation, a local organization that cares for orphaned, abused, disabled and disadvantaged children in Thailand.

Something brewing in your part of the world? We want to know about it. Tweet @its_alicia or @mtvvoices using the hashtag #WhatsUpWorld

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