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? 🤨

When using social media goes wrong

When using social media goes wrong
When using social media goes wrong

Social media is a powerful tool.   We know that it can help raise awareness, promote an idea and highlight a moment.   But  while everyone is watching, reading and listening…it can back fire on you with disastrous results.  Let’s take a look at three celebrities who took to their social accounts and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr

Don’t blame it on the drugs, blame it on your fingers

Comedian actress Roseanne Barr enjoyed great press as her TV sitcom Roseanne returned to the small screen earlier this year with rave reviews and strong television ratings.   The current trend of reviving old programming in the modern era worked for the 65-year old.  However, what got her in trouble was her racist comments made on Twitter about Valerie Jarrett, the senior advisor to former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Her May 29th dismissal by broadcaster ABC also resulted in the termination of the Roseanne show.   When you have a network that is backed by Disney and an employee with no filter like Roseanne Barr, it is a recipe for disaster.   Roseanne tried to back pedal and say she was tweeting, while medicated, but the damage was done.  Her TV show was cancelled, her cast mates were angry and temporarily jobless, while being vilified by the press.

Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo

Burner accounts are for everyone…including executives?

Former NBA executive Bryan Colangelo can be described as a genius who knows basketball operations and also a slimy, two faced, dishonest man all in the same sentence.  The former president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers can be credited for laying the seeds in scouting young talent and building them into contenders.  He did that previously for the Toronto Raptors, earning 2007 executive of the year honours leading the franchise to the Atlantic division title.

But fast forward to 2018, it was reported that he was using five Twitter ghost accounts known in the digital space as burner accounts, to talk negatively about players on his own team.   The accounts also shared private team information leaked for public view.  His own wife was implicated in the whole ordeal, which led the team to firing him on June 7th.  Moral of the story here: No one is safe on social media.  You can create “x” amount of accounts all you want…but one way or another, your secret will be revealed and you will be outed like Colangelo was.

Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl

Jokes from the dead don’t sit well with everyone

Amercian actress Katherine Heigl recently joined the cast of Suits, which films in downtown Toronto.  While not shooting on the weekend, she made a 1.5 hour drive to Buffalo to visit some family.  While touring through a cemetery where her own relatives were buried, she made some insensitive comedic gestures roasting the dead.  Heigl tried to enlighten the mood at the grave site, but it did not sit well with her Instagram story followers.

Once the former Grey’s Anatomy star caught wind of the offensive responses, she quickly deleted the stories and issued a video apology.    Sometimes we feel like we can share any piece of content on social media and not think twice about how it might affect someone else.  In this case, the 39-year-old actress is no different and she was savvy enough to take quick action which could have turned into some even more bad PR for her career.

Social Media can reward you and burn you if you let it

These three cases of celebrities misusing social media are just a few examples of the backlash you can face if you don’t use any of the digital platforms wisely.   It can happen to anyone, from a regular civilian to high profiled figures.   The larger your audience is, the larger your reach is.  But it can also mean that your every social media movement is traced, studied and critiqued.  Always make sure to be self aware of what you post on social media.  We live in an ultra sensitive climate these days and while your original intentions are not hurtful, others can interpret it in the wrong way.

Are Kanye West’s Tweets damaging his career or just a vehicle to promote his next album?

Kanye West
Kanye West

Recently hip-hop artist and fashion designer Kanye West re-emerged on Twitter.  The outspoken rapper has remained quiet on social media for almost one year until now.  Many have known West to have temper tantrums, be outspoken and stir headlines.  His latest press have alienated his public perception more than ever after praising US President Donald Trump in his tweets.  While many predict he is on the verge of a major breakdown, here are three reasons why I think Kanye is in promotion mode.

He is an artist

Mr. West’s body of work cannot be overlooked. He is a 21-time Grammy award winner and has provided countless hit songs and albums as a producer and an artist himself.  His artistry branched off into the world of fashion with his Yeezy line, including his partnership with adidas, who helped the three stripes brand over take Jordan Brand as the number 2 shoe company in the United States.  As an artist, he expresses his thoughts in music and his visuals through his clothing. With Twitter, he’s using the platform to create a dialogue and engaging others whether his opinion is popular or not.

He is creating a buzz for his new album

Kanye was not happy with the album sales of his 2016 effort, The Life of Pablo.  A lot of it stems from the album being only exclusive to TIDAL.  He has since had a falling out with the JAY-Z owned streaming service, which many claimed hurt his bottom line sales in term of availability to the rest of the Spotify’s and Apple’s of the music industry.  So what better way for people to get Kanye talking about him and his music through Twitter?  While his thoughts are free speech, what he’s really doing is to help build a promotional vehicle for his upcoming album Love Everyone, which is scheduled for a June 1st release.


Not even John Legend can stop Kanye.

He likes to feed his own ego

Nobody loves Kanye West more than himself.  He is a confident personality and is looking for approval.  What we know about ‘Ye is that he is a creator, a producer and designer by trade.  He believes in his own ideas so much, that he’s willing to defend them no matter how controversial they may be.  Even his own close friends disapprove of his alliance with Donald Trump, but he wants people to express their opinion just like he has.  It’s ok to agree to disagree with Kanye West. He has built a career on sheer talent.  And while his artistry cannot be questioned, he accepts that his own antics are always met with bi-polar results.

End Point

People tend to jump to conclusions and question why people do what they do.  What are they motivated by?  What causes them to react and behave the way they do?  Kanye West is no different.  Even if he never released any more music, he’ll be considered as one of the greatest music artists of all time.  Despite his current climate of controversy, Kanye is going to  be Kanye.  You can consume all the hype that makes him who he is…you can continue to buy into all the crazy stuff that he tweets.  Or you can see the bigger picture.  He’s here to create anticipation for his next album.  He is releasing product in his own way and is ok to trip and fall regardless of public perception.  A free thinker will take chances despite what others say because its their path and its their story to tell. This is the life of Kanye.

Kanye West  / Charlamagne Tha God interview (05-01-18)