Look Away, I'm Hideous
Remember that great scene is Seinfeld where Kramer invited Jerry into his "smoking lounge" apartment for pipe night?
After Jerry told Kramer his face was being disfigured by all the smoke, Kramer looked in a toaster (mirror), and said to Jerry, "look away...I'm hideous." Kramer knew something about human nature we all should keep in mind when it comes to social media: our friends and fans like us, but there are just certain things they don't need to see.
Rob Gronkowski has been called out injudiciously by the sports media for letting it all hang out at a post-Super Bowl party. Gronkowski is a record-setting tight end for the New England Patriots who played in the Super Bowl with an ankle injury and, unsurprisingly, had a less-than-stellar game. Gronkowski was captured on film dancing and getting a little crazy at a team-sponsored party following the game. To add insult to injury, former teammate turned sports analyst, Rodney Harrison, made a big stink about his "inappropriate behavior." ESPN's flagship morning show, Mike and Mike, devoted a large segment of their Thursday morning show to the subject (and showed the video way too many times).
In March, a new movie called Project X will grace the big screen. The flick glamorizes the idea of catching people on video doing stupid and dangerous things to get their "five minutes of fame" (nod here to Jackass phenomenon). The film depicts a teen party that escalates into a wild affair as party-goers try to create viral videos of their escapades.
Has social media created a monster? Dare I say, it is feeding an awful addiction to voyeurism, and creating unwanted headaches for PR offices everywhere? Yes, we are interested in knowing all the latest news on Twitter and following our favorite entertainers. But honestly, criticizing a 27-year-old guy for acting foolish at a party after a devastating loss? Gronkowski is only guilty of one very glaring sin: the guy cannot dance. Back to Seinfeld: remember what happened when Elaine cut loose and danced at an office party? Look away, it's hideous.
Chris Syme's newest book, Practice Safe Social, is a leading resource on using social media responsibly. Her agency, CKSyme Media Group specializes in crisis and reputation communications training and social media reputation strategies. See her website at www.cksyme.org. Follow her on Twitter @cksyme
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