Two tales of social media infamy

Social Media Infamy
Jessie Smollet and Marcella Zoia made headlines this month for all the wrong reasons.

This month we saw two really interesting headlines that were connected to social media. The first being a local news story for my fellow Torontonians and the other featuring a celebrity actor trying to make a bigger name for himself. The question I have to ask…is social media infamy worth it?

Jessie Smollet
Jessie Smollet was arrested February 21, 2019 on suspicion of filing a false report.

Dumb and Dumber.

First off, you have Empire actor Jessie Smollet, who last month staged his own racially driven assault in the late hours of downtown Chicago, only for it to unfold before his very eyes. It turns out this clown hired two men and rehearsed the robbery with them. Phone records were traced, while eye witness accounts were given.  All in the sake of what, trying to gain some notoriety and grow your name out in Hollywood?

Originally the public sympathized and felt sorry for the 36-year-old actor.  But as the story started to gain more traction, Smollet’s account in this matter started to become suspicious.  Hence Jesse went from being a victim to now becoming a laughing stock of the television and film industry.  This should be a lesson to those who want to make it big in the entertainment business, that there are no shortcuts in this game and people will out you for trying to.

The  chair toss heard around the GTA.

Secondly you have Chair Girl aka Marcella Zoia, who seems to crave the spotlight.  In what seemed like a really funny video that would eventually go viral, has now turned into a disgraceful sign of embarrassment.  Where is her common sense?  Sure, she is only 19-years-old and is probably doing what most young teenagers do, get into foolish behaviour.  But this is one of these circumstances where trying to be popular and getting a rise out of your friends becomes dangerous.  Luckily, the chair she threw that day off that condo balcony did not seriously injure a pedestrian or a driver on the road.

What we have learned from a story like Chair Girl is that everyone can get their 15 minutes of fame and can either A) grow into a larger attraction or B) fall into obscurity and become yesterday’s news.  Zoia’s story is definitely of negative light, but her youthful, rebellious attitude could blossom her into  a larger story.  News outlets will be glued to her in the upcoming months.  Personally, I think people will be fascinated with her and what she does next.  Her social media following has grown exponentially since she made headlines and will continue to rise once this is all said and done.

Real Talk.

In regards to social media use, sometimes we have to ask ourselves, do we know what we’re really doing?  We all have social accounts, it’s up to all of us in how we portray ourselves online.  Our close friends have an idea of who we really are, but there will be others on the outside who have no clue who we are. These people could be employers, someone trying to date you, stalkers and so on.  What they search about you online, ultimately gives them a different opinion.

Jessie Smollet and Marcella Zoia both become trending digital topics this month based on their mindless actions.  Perhaps Smollet thought he could stage his own hate crime that would garner public sympathy and boost his stock in Tinseltown.  This looks like it could backfire in the long run for him. As for Chair Girl’s case, she’s just a young adult living her best life.  But truth be told, she might have stumbled onto a potential goldmine opportunity.  Don’t believe me?  Just Google Bhad Bhabie.

Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover…R.I.P. Rich Piana

Rich Piana
Rich Piana, Toronto Pro SuperShow 2017

A few days ago, controversial body builder and social media star Rich Piana, known as @1dayumay passed away. The story about this picture I took with him is that even though it was just taken three months ago, I had no idea who he was.  I dragged my friend Mike to come downtown with me to the @toprosupershow, a well known fitness industry weekend event in Toronto.  To be honest, I actually wanted to meet a fitness model which I did and also to just walk around the expo and check out the surroundings.

“Whatever It Takes” was his mantra.

Rich Piana’s booth generated the most amount of fan fare interest.  Now if you see this guy from the outside, he’s extremely large looking and he’s tatted up to the gulls.  He had quite the presence.  I was like “Mike, who is this guy?.” He was like “You paid for my entrance and dragged me out to this and you have no idea who this guy is?  Even I know who he is!” Lol.  You should have seen the line up for this guy, well over a thousand plus people that weekend wanted to meet him, take pictures with him, sign merchandise and pick his brains about the fitness industry.  So for just about an hour or so, I too lined up and had a brief chat with him.

You only get once chance to make a first impression.

What I recall about meeting him that day, was that he had a personality behind that big frame of his.  And the reason why  the line ups were so long for him was because he actually took the time to meet and talk to each person who wanted to see him. That is a sign of someone who know’s their self worth and what an influence they are to the public. When I got home, I Google’d more about who he was and what was the hype about him.  The real appeal that I witnessed about Rich was his transparency and sincerity when interacting with the people. Yes, he previously admitted to steroid use and yes there was probably an addiction or desire to achieve a certain size in his physique.  But what’s amazing about him is that while he did not hold back in his transgressions, it was his open honesty with his audience that was his true major appeal. He eventually became one of the most profitable bodybuilding stars in the industry while growing his brand through social media.

Although I just met him briefly, I witnessed what a larger than life personality he was.  He meant a lot to so many aspiring people in the fitness industry.  It’s very easy to judge a book by its cover.  But in Rich Piana’s case, I couldn’t do that to this man. You only get once chance to make a first impression and he did that with me. Rest In Peace Rich.  My thoughts and prayers go out to your family, your GF @c_no5 and the @5percentnutrition team.

Social Media King

Rich Piana’s consistent promotion of his businesses on social media helped grow his name and brand in just a few short years.  You can relive some of his work through his popular YouTube channel.  Check out some interesting Sysomos stats during the week of his death on August 25, 2017.

Rich Piana Death Instagram Stats
Rich Piana Death Instagram stats, well over 3,000+ mentions on IG
Rich Piana Death Twitter Stats
Rich Piana Death Twitter Stats
Rich PianRich Piana Death Twitter Statsa Death Twitter Stats
Rich Piana Death Twitter stats, with over 4,000+ mentions on Twitter
Sentiment on Rich Piana's Death
Sentiment on Rich Piana’s Death was met with mixed reaction
Most ReTweeted on Rich Piana's Death
Most ReTweeted stats on Rich Piana’s Death

What Was It Like Being Back In School After 12 Years?

Buying shoes online or studying? 😀 Photo Cred: Gabriela Oviedo

Today’s post is going to be a little different than some of the posts you’ve read here.  For those who are visiting this site for the first time…Welcome!  I am going to recap my decision to go back to school, the factors that triggered it, my experiences being back in a classroom and what’s next on my plate.

Why I Went Back

In the spring of 2016, I was in the final stages of securing a new job with an emerging tech company.   At this time, I was back again working in the dairy industry, unchallenged and unmotivated.  I returned there after being laid off from a digital marketing company.  While I was very keen in getting back into the digital world, my gut instinct was telling me to hold off.  The title role was a client success specialist and I just felt like I wanted something more specific.  If you have ever been in a position where you took a job just for the money and you knew you’d still be unhappy – well that was where my head space was at.

For those who know me, I am willing to put the work in and bust my tail off if I believe in whatever the concept/idea/value is.   So in between interviews, I started Googling the idea of upgrading my education, to strengthen my resume as well.  My position was if I was going to make a commitment and go back to school, it had to be something that would fit my schedule, that had an interesting curriculum and that I would genuinely enjoy.

After a series of e-mails exchanged with one of the program coordinators at Seneca College, I decided now was the time to make the leap.  On April 22, 2016, I contacted the employer who offered me the client success specialist position and declined.  I now made the commitment to enroll in a one year, post grad certificate in social media, the first of its kind offered in the GTA.

College vs. University

The thought of being back in a classroom after a 12-year absence was going to be interesting.  Some of the questions I asked myself was, could I handle this?  Could I keep up with the other students?  Would I be the oldest fart in the room?  It was an intense, eight month course load that covered all aspects of social media and digital marketing.  After the first six weeks into the semester, I settled in pretty nicely and felt confident that I would be able to complete this program.

Looking back on my time in York University, I felt a four-year program was too long.  You would have theatre size classes that would fit as large as 500 students, yet you would only know maybe 25-30 of them in your tutorial classes.   What I liked about college was that we were the same 20-25 person class for the entire calendar year.

In university, almost all of the teachings were theoretical, which in my own theory is useless because you need practical knowledge in the real working world.  Thanks to Google, Wikipedia and so on, you can search for that theoretical information at any time and educate yourself.

Having the opportunity to work in group projects and do presentations in college was also very refreshing.  I welcomed that with open arms because university didn’t provide much opportunities in that aspect.  In addition, while assignments were submitted in printed paper at York, for this program they were all submitted online.

I remember back in the day, maybe one or two students in the room had a laptop.  That was considered luxury.  Taking notes on a paper pad was the norm.  Today, everyone in the class is equipped with some sort of technology whether it be a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone.

#SenecaSoMe aka SMD
#SenecaSoMe aka SMD

Continue reading “What Was It Like Being Back In School After 12 Years?”