5 Phase Plan for Achieving Fame
- Make a Viral Video
- Singing Career
I came across this list from a Netflix series based on the fictional YouTube character “Miranda Sings”. This show is everything you love and hate about Napoleon Dynamite multiplied by 3 and concentrated into 30 minutes. But within the first 10 minutes of the episode, it revealed some sad truths about social media and cyber bullying. Miranda uploads a terrible rendition of “Defying Gravity” and within minutes receives hateful comments and backlash. She quickly modifies the “5 Phase Plan”:
- Make a Viral Video 1a. Receive death threats
We’ve seen it time and time again with people like Rebecca Black and Boxxy being ruthlessly bullied and threatened via Youtube comments. In Jon Ronson’s Ted Talk about Justine Sacco, he discusses how cyber bullies believed their actions were justified based on the nature of Sacco’s ignorant and racist tweet. But what did Rebecca Black and Boxxy ever do to receive the same exact reactions from the social media world? I don’t think it’s the content of the video/tweet that triggers people to react this way, I think it’s the power of anonymity.
The anonymity of social media can be a powerful tool. Sitting behind a screen and projecting out thoughts that the entire world can see is much easier when your completely disconnected from your readers. If these same interactions were face-to-face conversations, I think it’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t react the same way. Imagine your sitting in Robsham Theatre and a fellow Boston College student is performing a song. They’re slightly unattractive, a bit tone deaf, and completely unaware of how they are perceived. Would you a) sit silent and just pray the performance was almost over b) laugh quietly to yourself and leave during the performance or c) loudly comment about the person’s appearance and start yelling death threats across the theatre. In reality, I think most of us would pick a, maybe b. But why on the internet does it feel like a majority of the world picks c? What happened to the phrase, “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”?
Cyber bullying can have severe outcomes. Many celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato have spoken up against cyber bullying and have started campaigns to create awareness and support groups. After receiving hateful comments on his Instagram, Justin Bieber deactivated his account in August 2016. Immediately after that, people began mocking him for deleting his Instagram account. There’s really no way to win.
There are countless celebrities who are cyber bullied via social media. Anna Gunn (Skylar White from the series Breaking Bad) wrote a piece to The New York Times detailing her experience as an antagonist on the show. People created Facebook groups and fan pages about how much they hated Skylar White. At first, she understood the hatred as most people sided with Walter White, her fictional husband. However, these pages began to slowly divert from Skylar White and began projecting their hatred on to Anna Gunn herself. Fans of the show were unable to separate fiction and reality. Gunn ultimately realized that the hatred actually stemmed from people’s true feelings about women and wives and her inability to conform to the “archetypical female”.
Besides being frightened (and taking steps to ensure my safety), I was also astonished: how had disliking a character spiraled into homicidal rage at the actress playing her? – Anna Gunn
Cyber bullying is not only for the celebrity world. In fact, it’s more prevalent in the average person’s life. In an attempt to bring awareness to the situation, DoSomething.org released some statistics about cyber bullying.
Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
Cyber bullying is still a very real issue. Most of the time, we are part of the problem without even realizing. Next time you post, tweet, text or comment, think about if you would do the same thing in-person.