If you have an Instagram account and you’re a male within the age of 15-28 you will most likely have come across Dan Bilzarian’s infamous Instagram account. So who exactly is Dan Bilzarian? Son of a convicted corporate takeover specialist, He is a professional poker player that has gained tremendous fame through his Instagram account. His lifestyle as depicted on Instagram is so extravagant and unrealistic that it makes it extremely entertaining and interesting, yet with dire social consequences.
I cannot show you many pictures of his account because of the insane amount of inappropriate pictures (staying just within the posting limits of Instagram) that he posts on there, but here are some examples of his crazy lifestyle:
The reason why I can’t show a lot of them is that a lot of them involving women strip down to the bare minimum and pressed against him or in erotic positions suggestive of imminent sexual engagement. There are also a lot of pictures of exotic cars, trips on private jets and guns that stimulates violence and lust within viewers. Since his profile is public, anyone with an Instagram is able to follow the “King of Instagram” and be enlightened by his exuberant lifestyle. Currently, his Instagram account has 7 million followers and his Facebook page has also around 7 million “likers”.
I mentioned Dan Bilzarian because I have read a couple of blog post (Here is one) by my fellow #IS6621 peers about the possible effects of social media on children. I think that social media accounts like Bilzarian’s can be problematic for children, but it poses an even bigger threat to the teenagers that are beginning to discover who they are and how they should behave in the world. Teenagers are very impressionable. Everything about Dan Bilzarian illustrates a life that is unattainable and the teenagers in their discovery mode may idolize him and believe that in order to be successful in life, you will need to act in a way that is similar to Dan Bilzarian. His posts promote adultery, violence and for men to treat women as objects, nothing more than play things like his cars and guns. This is very ethically concerning.
Although social media is not the first piece of technology that has enable the youthful minds to be corrupted, the readily availability and instant engagement is something that social media enables. The past few years have seen many videos uploaded on social media sites that showcase school fights or public indecency. New stories have been reported with regularity regarding violence that is initiated through social media. This article illustrates how rival game members are using social media to instigate fights and retaliation, causing many precious lives to be lost. There are even fight compilation videos on YouTube that showcase a collection of daily fights, usually taken with mobile phones and uploaded to social media sites. (Warning: It might be disturbing to some of you so I did not embedded it rather linked it to the youtube video. There are some that requires you to sign in but when has that stopped teenagers from viewing the content? This following one from last year had 6.4 million views)
To bring home my point, when I was a freshman in my high school, a classmate of mine actually convinced a female classmate of mine to take off her bar through Skype and proceed in recording the whole thing. Not only did he recorded the episode, he then decided to showcase the video and share it with his friends on whatsapp and in the end tries to blackmail the female classmate of mine for monetary gains. This was in 2009 and it is not surprising that these episodes have happened more often with the growth of social media.
With the growth of various momentary and anonymous social media platforms (Yes, Yik Yak and Snapchat are the ones I am particularly concerned with), I am particularly worried the impact social media has on teenagers. Social media sites are not going away. Children do in fact get more parental guidance as to how to best utilize these sites, but what happens when they reach the stage where their began to have control of their own freedom? Let me know what you think as I am certainly one who is very worried with the improper use of social media amongst teenagers.
(All images obtained from Dan Bilzarian’s public profile while the picture of Australian International School Hong Kong was obtained via Google images)