Without a doubt, the biggest song of the summer has been Drake’s “In My Feelings” record. How this tune rose in popularity can be credited to social media influencer/comedian Shiggy. The 25-year-old born Shaquille Mitchell posted the #DoTheShiggy dance challenge on his Instagram account and the catchy chorus paired with Shiggy’s dance moves ushered in thousands of creative submissions. Let’s take a look at some of the big ones.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 1993, I was just 12-years old in the sixth grade. My elementary school St. Thomas More aka STM, was celebrating their 25th anniversary. In May of that year, kids from kindergarten all the way to the eighth grade assembled for a large school photo and put it into a time capsule. Each classroom participated and contributed items that would be put into that same time capsule and would later be opened at the school’s 50th anniversary. 25 years later on May 7th, 2018, I made sure to return to my roots and check out the festivities.
I attended the STM 50th anniversary with one of my childhood friends from the third grade. When we got there, we arrived to see the current crop of elementary kids participating in a musical presentation for the audience. Inside the gym, it was scattered with parents, faculty, former teachers and students that spanned decades. A slideshow followed that highlighted 50 years of the school’s history.
When the presentation in the large gymnasium concluded, people started to mingle and catch up with one another. Unfortunately there weren’t too many people from my grade or even teachers for that matter that attended this reunion. To be honest, the school did a terrible job of promoting the 50th anniversary. You would think that in this social media age, they would use it to their advantage to spread the word around such a momentous occasion. I found out about this 50th anniversary through the church that was next door to STM. They had a weekly newsletter, that had a small mention about it.
Anyways not to get off track in my story, I went into the smaller gymnasium (our school had two gyms), looking to see the time capsule. I was very intrigued to see the nostalgia inside that big wooden box that was padlocked for a quarter of a century. From a pop culture standpoint what I remember during that spring of 1993, Hulk Hogan was WWF champion and the Blue Jays got off to a rocky start in what would be their eventual second World Series championship season. The Maple Leafs were shocking the entire NHL and having an unbelievable playoff run at the time. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was a popular comedy show among my classmates and Lenny Kravitz’ ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way‘ was a really big record.
When I finally saw all the items from the time capsule spread across the table, my childhood memories started to kick in. It was really cool to see what kind of stuff was inside there. There was a dated newspaper inside there, with politician Jean Chrétien leading the headlines with his running for Prime Minister. There were baseball cards and hockey cards from the 1992-1993 season. One class cut out fashion magazines and made collages, highlighting the fashion trends and styles of that year. Two mixtape cassettes were found in there, ranging from all the popular artists at the time such as Snow, Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Robin S to name a few. There was a VHS tape that had footage of a videographer coming to everyone’s class earlier in the year and having them say something on camera. They were playing that same video in the school’s library on an old TV that looked like this lol.
I was really disappointed that my class’ contribution, an ecosystem was not displayed on the table. I remember we submitted some fishbowl looking glass display with plants and algae inside it…maybe when they opened it smelled funny or the water evaporated, I have no clue lol.