by Ayana Antoine ’20
Everyone wants to be remembered for something, but in the age of social media, some people will settle for being known for anything. Due to the prominence of social media, many have been able to make careers off of influencing and promoting. With this, there has been an increase in people who aspire to make a career out of their social media platforms, specifically on Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok. The concept seems like the perfect job since everyone has a phone and no particular education is required to be successful. But as these people with aspiring social careers build their platform, many find themselves stopping at nothing to attain fame.
Now in all fairness, there have always been the few people who are willing to do the most for the sake of shock value. But that has typically been a small proportion of people on social media, and their videos are typically flagged or they rise to a place in their career where they can rely on other focuses for content. This seems to be happening less as internet “challenges,” and trends, like licking ice cream and putting it back on the shelf at the grocery store are popularized. For reasons that blatantly ignore logic, rather than ending this unsanitary trend, people have been recreating the video and posting themselves on social media.
Although these people may gain popularity from their shock content, the effects really are not worth the crime. The teen who started the ice cream trend has been charged with tampering with a consumer product, a second-degree felony that has a prison term of two to 20 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Many of the big social media influencers like Liza Koshy and Emma Chamberlain began to grow their brand as teenagers in high school. Although many will make videos of harmless fun, there has been a rise of influencers like Jake and Logan Paul who will go to any extreme for views. Typically this misbehavior is, but not limited to, defacement of property, vandalism, stalking, inappropriate touching or even abusive commentary, and most of the time it’s directed towards unsuspecting people.
But because we live in an age of social media where likes and follows are valued over all, rather than peers feeling the need to call out the toxic behavior, many are reposting and sharing these videos, and laughing at the inappropriate actions.