YouTuber Marina Joyce Went Missing For 10 Days And The Conspiracy Theorists Went Nuts

It's been three years since her infamous "help me" video.

Social media users and conspiracy theories go together like peanut butter and jelly, so when YouTuber Marina Joyce went missing recently, you can imagine the social media shitstorm that erupted soon after.

It’s Shane-approved. Credit: Giphy

ICYMI, Joyce broke the Internet in 2016 when her nervous and erratic YouTube videos had millions of subscribers thinking she may have been kidnapped and was being made to film against her will. In the video, the then 19-year-old YouTuber appeared to have bruises on her arms and whisper “help me,” which only fuelled speculations of abuse.

But that was just the tip of the conspiracy theory iceberg.

The hashtag #SaveMarinaJoyce went viral, with fans suspecting she had been kidnapped by ISIS, was dealing with serious mental health issues, or drug addiction. The social media frenzy escalated to the point that authorities became involved and paid her a visit to assure fans she was safe. 

Credit: Twitter

Weeks later, Joyce caused another controversy when she asked followers to call her “Goddess Marina” and claimed she’d “found secrets about the afterlife.” She said “I know that I can still contact humans during the afterlife,” and said she wanted to create a temple and shrine when she would spend time drawing, meditating, and “finding [people] extreme spiritual help and guidance.”

It’s been a few years since then, but Joyce has landed herself in the trending section once again after she was reported missing on August 7.

Credit: Twitter

Just as social media users and YouTube subscribers began to speculate, Joyce’s boyfriend Brandon Mehmed confirmed she was found “safe and well.” In a tweet Mehmed wrote, “This is a temporary post to send a message to everyone worried for Marina.” 

“Everything is being dealt with in a professional manner. Please don’t worry about her as she is safe and well (you have my word for that). Also everyone who thinks I’m acting “suspicious” are only misinformed and don’t know me at all,” he wrote. 

Joyce is yet to confirm the news herself, but it appears that the Internet has already run wild with a fresh batch of new theories. We’ll be staying tuned for the video.

If you, or anyone you know is struggling with issues related to abuse or addiction, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800 RESPECT for support.

FOMO: An Investigation Into Why It's Ruining People's Lives

And why JOMO is a big mood.

Let’s be honest. We’ve all experienced that empty feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re flipping through Instagram stories and see two of your best buds hanging out without you. In 2019’s vocabulary, that feeling is commonly referred to as FOMO AKA the Fear of Missing Out.

In a society which relies heavily on social media and technology as the primary way to find out what’s going on in other people’s life, there’s no doubt that the feeling of FOMO is at an all-time high in 2019. I mean, you can’t log-on to Facebook these days without seeing someone you know doing something that doesn’t involve you. So, why do we experience such feelings of exclusion? Is it because we actually care, or is it because we’re being constantly reminded of the things we’re not a part of? 

Ilana gets it. Credit: Giphy

A 2018 study, published in Motivation and Emotion, analysed the experiences of first-year university students over the course of a week and found that the feeling of FOMO was present for participants throughout the day, but mostly later in the day, and towards the end of the week. I’m guessing this is because everyone is busy crafting those cheeky Friday night plans.

The feeling of FOMO was associated with negative outcomes including fatigue, stress, sleep problems and psychosomatic symptoms. Interestingly, the study also found that FOMO was not predicted by neuroticism or extraversion – meaning it was a feeling experienced by all, regardless of temperament. 

Poor Homer. Credit: Giphy

In a second study, researchers created a scenario in which participants were faced with two activities: one planned, and one alternate. In the scenario, the planned activity was always chosen but the participant would be “reminded” of the alternate, social activity via a friend or social media notification.

Negative emotions, feelings of distraction and a general sense of FOMO were all experienced. However, the study also found that hearing about the social activity from a friend versus a social notification produced the same amount of FOMO.

So, is social media the only one to blame? Or is The Paradox Of Choice playing a role in our feelings of FOMO? According to psychologist Barry Schwartz, the more choices we have, the less happy we are with what we choose, and the more FOMO we feel – this is the Paradox of Choice. Schwartz says that the people most sensitive to FOMO are “maximisers,” or people who are always trying to get “the best” out of every situation. 

Tough choices. Credit: Giphy

According to a paper Schwartz wrote with his colleague Andrew Ward, “as people have contact with items of high quality, they begin to suffer from the “curse of discernment.” The lower quality items that used to be perfectly acceptable are no longer good enough,” leading you to believe you’re missing out on something else. 

In his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Schwartz explores the concept of just being “good enough.” His theory is that if you aren’t sure if you made the right decision, or went to the least FOMO-inducing party, just settle for “good enough.”

It’s quite simple, really. Credit: Giphy

Another way to stop FOMO ruining your life is through a technique I personally swear by: JOMO, or the Joy Of Missing Out. In her New York Times article, Hayley Phelan describes JOMO as “antithesis of FOMO.” 

“JOMO is about disconnecting, opting out and being O.K. just where you are,” she writes. It’s a bit like all that mumbo jumbo you hear about mindfulness and staying present, but I believe it’s also about actively enjoying not being included in absolutely everything all the time. 

A mood. Credit: Giphy

Phelan explains a number of ways you can embrace your inner JOMO, including actually using those ‘Do Not Disturb’ functions on your phone, monitoring your digital diet (or like me, setting a timer on your Instagram). She also suggests keeping people’s expectations of you low and doing things with intention – rather than letting happy moments pass us by.

Yes, you do. Credit: Giphy

Being on every guest list, invited to every party, and knowing what’s going on in Game of Thrones can be fun for a hot minute, but there’s also a great deal of comfort in kicking back, cancelling those plans and enjoying missing out on it all for a second. It’s a feeling I think we should all start appreciating more.

The Highest-Viewed YouTube Searches Prove We're Pleasure-Hungry Gamers

We play hard, and relax harder.

If you fancy starting a new career as a YouTuber, you might want start with videos about gaming or ~pleasurable sounds~

Where to start? Credit: Giphy

A new study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, has found the YouTube keywords that attract the most views in 2019, and there are quite clearly some big trends emerging.

Number one on the list was “Fortnite,” which comes as no surprise considering 16-year-old Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf took home a whopping $3M at this week’s Fortnite World Cup. Last year, Business Insider reported that Fortnite had nearly 250 million players, which is over two-thirds of the entire U.S. population. So, yeah, it makes sense that it’s going OFF on YouTube.

Second on Pew Research Center’s list of most-viewed YouTube search terms is “ASMR” AKA Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. If you’re not familiar with the trend (where have you been?) it’s a “static-like or tingling sensation on the skin” that starts from the scalp and moves down the neck and spine, brought on by “auditory or visual stimuli,” like whispering, scratching, crinkling, crumpling, or tapping. 

Personally, I’m not a fan of ASMR and find the whispering noises rather annoying, but clearly there is a huge demand for it, particularly on YouTube where it’s getting 25.7M worldwide searches per month.

On the list of most-viewed keywords, “ASMR” was followed by “Slime”, “Rainbow”, “Prank” and “Worst.” Which, to me, indicates the world likes watching really pleasant and satisfying video content, but we also enjoy seeing things go wrong. 

We’re sick bastards. Credit: Giphy

Ahh, humans.

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