Three shows that that were hot topics on social media in January 2019

R. Kelly, Fyre Festival, You Netflix
Surviving R. Kelly, Fyre Festival, You Netflix

In the month of January, where cold Canadian winters and holiday credit card bills come in, the best thing to do is stay indoors.  It’s up to you what you want to do. 

You can play video games. You can catch up on some good reads. You can watch a variety of programs on your streaming devices. Or you can simply just fornicate 😍. 

If you choose to consume some content into February, here are three recommended shows you should watch that had social media buzzing.

Surviving R. Kelly

R. Kelly is a monster.

Legendary R&B singer R. Kelly’s controversial docuseries kicked off 2019 with a bang.  Surviving R. Kelly was executive produced by filmmaker and music critic Dream Hampton.  The docuseries revisited Kelly’s infamous history of having sexual relations with minors. 

Multiple victims including his own wife were interviewed, sharing their traumatic accounts with the ‘Pied Piper.’  The three-time Grammy winner’s scandalous past were brought up from stories as old as 25 years ago.  Most notably his marriage to the late Aaliyah, who was of under age at the time. 

Despite being cleared in 2008 on child pornography charges, Kelly still found himself in hot water repeating his sexual behaviour.  It is believed that he is currently running a sex cult on his properties and holding women captive.

Trailer for Surviving R. Kelly

The three-night, six-hour series debuted on January 3 and averaged 2.1 million viewers on the Lifetime channel. The bigger story came out of all of this was the impact it had on social. It was a trending topic (#MuteRKelly) that led to many R. Kelly collaborators distancing themselves from the disgraced singer. RCA Records, his long-time record label recently dropped him.

Public opinion has waned on the 52-year-old, who plans to pursue legal action against the creators of the docuseries. But the jury is out, R. Kelly’s once wholesome image is more tarnished than ever. Had social media been more prevalent in the early 2000’s around the time his child pornography charges became headlines, his career could have been derailed back then as well.

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Social media scandal inspired by Netflix show?

Scandal in the 6

This past month’s story involving six students from an all boys high school assaulting two fellow classmates, has been the talk of the town on social media. St. Michael’s College School is one of the most prestigious high schools in all of Canada. If you are not to up to date with this news story, here is a recap:

CityNews were the first media outlet to receive the disturbing videos.

Was the bullying inspired by 13 Reasons Why?

The details are certainly disturbing. While hazing and bullying are nothing new to adolescents, could it have been inspired from programming seen online?

Netflix’s controversial show 13 Reasons Why, takes a look at teenage pressure such as sexual, alcohol and drug abuse. It is quite possible that what happened at St. Mike’s could have been inspired from the hazing that character Tyler Down endured on the show:

This was the most controversial scene in season two of 13 Reasons Why.

What to do now?

It’s a terrible thing to see our youth emulate what they see on their devices.  I think bullying in general is never going to go away and with a medium like social media, we can react fast and raise attention.  In this case, the videos were briefly circulating on Instagram and it was a matter of time before the authorities got involved.

As for the school turning a blind eye originally, shame on them.  It took local news outlets to expose them for not paying attention to the school culture that goes within their hallways.  What they thought that was happening was just a small level of teasing, has now turned into a sexual assault case, with six students aged 15-17 being expelled for good.

Is it worth risking your life for social media?

Image courtesy of D2DInfo
Image courtesy of D2DInfo

Often times we live out our lives too much on social media. We take numerous photos and videos while only posting the best ones. For what though, to present ourselves as the best? To hide our flaws? To outdo our friends and followers? At what point do we stop ourselves and realize that we are doing too much on social? Let’s look at two stories that occurred this past month with grave results.

Jon_James_McMurray
Image courtesy of Jon James McMurray on Instagram

Stunting too hard can come at a steep price

The first story comes out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada where rapper “Jon James” McMurray plunged to his death after losing his balance on the wing of a flying plane. The 34 year old was filming a music video while rapping on the live plane. McMurray had repeatedly practiced the stunt safely.

However on the day of the video shoot while walking deeper onto the wing, the plane took a downward spiral. This caused James to lose balance and fall off the plane while in the air, with not enough time to deploy his parachute. His body was eventually found in a farmer’s field.

While Jon James was known to be a risk taker, his death could have been prevented. Why not go with a music video treatment that had less extreme ramifications? Did he have his own expectations to outdo his previous videos?

We live in an era where there is pressure to stand out, to be different. But at what point do we draw the line and say enough is enough? Was his desire to live in the fast life and show it all off on social media really worth it? There must come a point where you need to put your safety first, regardless of how many engagements you get on social media.

Image courtesy of holidaysandhappilyeverafters on Instagram
Image courtesy of holidaysandhappilyeverafters on Instagram

Death from a selfie?

At what great lengths are you willing to get the perfect shot? How far will you travel to get the picture that will generate the most likes and comments? For Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and his wife, Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, their pursuit of a hobby as travel bloggers cost them their lives.

On October 30, their bodies were discovered some 800 feet at the bottom of Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The couple from India had built a growing following on their Instagram page with 14,000 followers, which has since doubled in the wake of their tragic story. Vishnu and Meenakshi were standing on the ledge of the popular Taft Point overlook and must have lost their footing, plunging to their deaths.

The duo may have foreshadowed their own fates by even writing in the captions of their posts. They questioned if they were really chasing sunsets or chasing likes. One must have to think that there could be a social media addiction here. Could it be that we often look to social to create our best version of ourselves from what we really possess in reality?

Outro

These two fatal stories in the month of October are a reminder that some people, are willing to go to dangerous lengths to live our their best lives on social media. Without a doubt, this social pressure is alarming and could be an emerging trend on moving forward.

People need to realize that at the end of the day, you are simply a human. You do not live your life solely on digital. Stop trying to show off online just to feed your ego. Don’t oversell yourself on social. There is no need to showcase your own insecurities. Don’t try to be some daredevil putting your life at risk, just to produce that viral visual.

While these two headlines involved were adults in their early 30’s, imagine what millennials and generation Y and Z are capable of doing. Tide Pod challenge anyone? 🤨