Consequences of an Online Presence
I find it amazing when someone decides to start being active online in some form or another and then is surprised when others start to respond to what they are sharing. I think there are those that purposefully try and get a rise out of people. A lot of the prank YouTube channels in particular seem to be that their goal is to shock, to make a video that goes viral. Then there are those that seem to be creating, thinking it will be funny, or because they have fun doing it and don’t expect the reaction to some of the things that they create.
Recently there has been some stories about a family with five kids who run a prank channel where the parents run pranks on the kids. Now they have around 765,000 subscribers and recently some of their videos had started gaining some tractions. The reaction to the videos was not all positive because in some of the videos the kids seem like they are in distress. Understandably some people get upset about this and while I disagree with people sending threats I am not surprised it happened. What amazes me is how surprised the parents are at people’s reaction. If you start putting yourself out there in any way online you have to be prepared for the potential backlash and really think about what you are putting out there and if you can stand by it.
The very nature of an online audience is that it can be anyone anywhere. Now usually you will end up finding people who are a similar interest with what you are posting. At the same time if you start getting a larger audience you are more likely to find people who disagree or even potentially disapprove. Going in to the experience of online sharing you almost have to anticipate that there will come a time when someone will disagree with the very existence of what you are sharing. If you spend any time online you see these things all the time, I mean just look at the comments section of a simple news article. It cannot be that hard to believe.
The other piece that you have to recognize is that there are some people out there whose sole purpose in life seems to be to get a rise out of someone. They just want to argue for argument’s sake instead of contributing anything meaningful to a conversation. When you are dealing with someone who is a troll there just is no point in even engaging, which can be hard. They will write pages in response without saying anything, but trying to make it sound like you are wrong no matter what the circumstances. It can be hard not to respond when you are faced with such opposition, but ultimately it is a futile effort that will just leave you frustrated.
Now one thing I have to point out is almost anything can be considered controversial, but there are definitely some things that people post online and all I can think is, “you really though that was a good idea?” There are things that are going to potentially draw more ire than others and you either prepare for those consequences or just don’t do it. At the same time there are people for whom their perspective just doesn’t prepare them for understanding that there might be a different way to do things.
The Daddy of Five YouTube is a good example because they do not seem to understand how or why people are getting so upset it’s just a prank and even now they have revealed that it was all fake (they have also made all their videos private). Now there are still questions of how real or fake the videos are, but it is the fact that you started making these videos and didn’t expect that it could get bad eventually. A lot of prank channels (that don’t include kids) already get some heat just due to the content and the actions that they take. It is the people who react like they don’t think those reactions might be a possibility that just baffle me.
Going in to any sort of online media you have to understand that you are opening yourself up for others to react to you good or bad.