THAT CAN’T BE TRUE! – HOW SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCES CRYSTALS AND YOU FOR BETTER OR WORSE
Social media’s grip on public consciousness is tight. It is impossible to escape its influence. Seriously, I dare you to go a day without being influenced by social media sites. Even if you don’t visit those sites or use their apps, you can still be influenced by it. In fact, everyone can be influenced by it. Indeed, you and everyone else already are.
Who would have guessed that an innocuous stone like shungite would become the center in many 5G conspiracy theories? During 2020, the stone became a talisman to protect wearers against the sorcerous influences of the “Big Wireless” wizard towers. Of course, shungite offers no such protection. 5G doesn’t cause COVID-19, a virus does, and this is just hooey. But who started this shameless rumor? It couldn’t be any major public figure, right? Well, it depends on what you mean by “start.” Who first came up with the idea? Or perhaps who popularized it? Who was its champion maybe?
I will answer to each of these questions and give you my analysis.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the myths about 5G truly started. In late 2020, blogs and social media posts were defined by one of two stances on 5G: either it was a radioactive, COVID-19 causing, insidious invention by the shadowy elite, OR it was a benign, useful innovation in our daily lives.
If you watch gaming streams or know about Twitch, you’re probably familiar with Dr DisRespect. This (in)famous streamer was the face of Twitch. He had a multi-million dollar contract with Twitch set in March, 2020 the year of his ban. He did something else in April that year.
During one of his streams, Dr DisRespect claimed that he bought “a whole bunch” of shungite pyramids. He described it as a “2 billion year old” rock that “protects against unwanted frequencies.” It’s likely that the “frequencies” he is talking about are wireless frequencies, like 5G. A deluge of macro images mocking Dr DisRespect came pouring into the mainstream.
A Medium article by “Shungite-C60” on September 21st, 2019 raised some questions about Shungite. The article cites various sources, including some academic pieces and the author’s own website. If this doesn’t scream “bias” then I don’t know what does.
Raphel Fernandez, a Melbourne Based conspiracy theorist, also began spreading the idea that shungite could proect you from 5G waves. He also claimed that COVID-19 was a government conspiracy and runs a 99% Unite, a movement that is known to promote lies about COVID-19.
Let's be clear: shungite won’t deflect evil COVID-19 beaming rays at you from 5G towers. It won’t stop the “radiation” either. So why choose shungite? Well, shungite actually does stop electromagnetic radiation to an extent. But a cell phone casing won’t stop EMF entirely and there is definitely no “shield” or “bubble” around you that deflects the waves.
In addition to the dubious claims of shungite shields straight out of sci-fi, we have the mystic claims surrounding moldavite. So-called “WitchTok”, a play on the name of TikTok, a viral video app like Vine and YouTube, popularized the myth that moldavite is capable of “ruining lives.” There were other odd claims, some objectively false, about moldavite spread by these “witches.”
Let’s dispel this myth about moldative “ruining” lives. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that moldavite is capable of turning your luck around or is “cursed.” The teenagers with more spare time than they know what do with are more obsessed with fame on their favorite social media app than reality.
Whether you believe in crystal healing or not, however, there are just false claims made about moldavite that show a baffling lack of knowledge on mineralogy and geology.
Any claim that moldavite is a “crystal” is untrue. Moldavite is not a crystal, it is a glass. Specifically, it is glass that comes from an old meteor impact and is a tektite. If WitchTok cannot get even this basic fact about moldavite correct I don’t know why we would take their claims seriously in the first place.
One video from a man who claimed to not believe in crystal healing talked about how moldavite ruined his life. He described it as “black”. This is another basic fact that can be disproven literally by just a Google search; moldavite is green, not black.
At least not every stone is used for political propaganda or ruins lives. In fact, the obsession with carnelian is a change for the better even if it is still a fad. A woman was fed up with being rejected by men and bought a carnelian pendant. Since then, she was raking in studs and hunks in her area. In fact, many women started buying carnelian in an effort to snag local guys. Browsing TikTok’s Carnlian tag reveals many stories that follow this premise. The efficacy of stones for romance and other aspects of your life will be explored in the later analysis of this post.
Just because there is a positive outcome compared to other stones doesn’t mean there isn’t false information — some dangerous — spread about carnelian. Psychic Today on Twitter claimed that carnelian can stop bleeding if applied to an open injury. This should go without saying, but if you are bleeding seek actual medical attention, not stones.
There is a lot to say about the power of social media. It does many things. It can inform people in an instant with just 280 characters or less, like Twitter. Or, you can show people your images to millions of users like Instagram. If YouTube videos are too long, then go to TikTok. Conversely, if you want content that can vary from a minute to an hour, then use YouTube.
Each platform has its own activists, influencers, hipsters, and more. Many of them are positive, or at least neutral. But there are malicious actors on these apps too. Some are simply ignorant of the truth and unknowingly spread false information. In the case of crystals, you have to be especially wary of advice given online.
The impact that crystal influencers have on business is can be rather extreme. For instance, the moldavite boom generated unprecedented levels of demand for what is essentially a piece of space glass. On one hand, local businesses generated a lot of new income and prices for moldavite shot up. On the other hand, they also struggled to keep up and supply dwindles as demand increases.
There is undeniable good to come from social media influencers, but there is also undeniable harm. The best advice that can be given is to stay informed and aware.
Casperson, Hunter. “TikTok Dramatically Impacts Local Crystal Shops.” The Orion, 1 June 2021, theorion.com/86590/news/tiktok-dramatically-impacts-local-crystal-shops.
Cliff, Martha. “I Was Sick of Men Rejecting Me so I Bought a ‘Magic’ £2 Necklace, Now Guys Always Ask Me Out… and I’m Not t...” The Sun, 1 Nov. 2021, www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/16599451/magic-dating-necklace-attracts-men-crystal-carnelian.
Heck, Jordan. “Why Is Dr Disrespect Banned on Twitch? Here’s What We Know.” Sporting News, 6 July 2020, www.sportingnews.com/us/other-sports/news/why-dr-disrespect-banned-twitch/1khyhre2e71om1ujvujfnmy2b8.
Jackson, Gita. “TikTokers Keep Buying Cursed Crystals.” Vice, 7 May 2021, www.vice.com/en/article/qj88aw/tiktokers-keep-buying-cursed-crystals.
Johnston, Raymond. “Czech Moldavite Is a TikTok Sensation – but Is It Really a Powerful Cosmic Crystal?” Expats CZ, 11 June 2021, www.expats.cz/czech-news/article/the-czech-gemstone-moldavite-has-been-trending-but-what-exactly-is-it.
Shungite-C60. “What Are the Harmful Effects EMF and 5G Waves? - Shungite Emf Protection.” Medium, 21 Sept. 2019, medium.com/shungite-emf-protection/what-are-the-harmful-effects-emf-and-5g-waves-fe326c68d2d9.
Starkey, Louise. “Coronavirus Deniers Cash in by Selling ‘5G Protection Crystals.’” Mail Online, 29 July 2020, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8572899/How-COVID-19-deniers-cashing-theories-selling-5G-protection-crystals.html.
Stroganov, Victor, et al. “Modification of Styrene-Acrylic Coatings with Carbon-Containing Shungite Filler.” Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, 2021, pp. 269–78. Crossref, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-80103-8_29.
Zach. “Shungite.” Know Your Meme, 2020, knowyourmeme.com/memes/shungite.