Social media can often blow things out of proportion. In class we discussed a BBC News interview, where a Robert Kelly’s children interrupted his live video. It was cute and worth a laugh, and also a little awkward. More awkward, and possibly hurtful to the family, were the comments from social media spectators that followed.
Many people assumed the wife in the video was a nanny. When Kelly and his family came back on air a couple days later to talk about the event that had unfolded, they stated that the comments referring to his wife as a nanny were “uncomfortable.”
People were spectating to the extent that they may as well have wrote a book on his life. Since they know him and his family (as well as their parenting skills) so well.
What they may not have realized, was that this was the first time in six years Kelly had an issue with his children while speaking on air. He forgot to lock the door this time. It was an honest mistake. The children were watching their dad on a camera, and likely noticed the room he was in and bolted to it – as children do. It was also his daughters birthday, and she was in a “hippy-hoppity mood” following the school party. These are all details that are left unknown when assumptions are being made across the digital world.
So what was the big deal? I don’t think it was necessarily the incident of children barging into their dads live interview, but rather the narratives people on social media created afterwards. It’s unfortunate that people are quick to see faults, and to judge, rather than practicing understanding or empathy. Even the most professional of people can make mistakes, and they should be allowed to, without becoming a viral youtube star.
So, as this twitter user proposes, don’t assume — but also don’t feel too badly about it. Social media is a breeding ground for mistakes, and that includes consumers.
– Michaela Bishop