Why social media schadenfreude is scarier than swine flu

09 October 2009

There’s a particularly startling epidemic happening in the online world, which I’m noticing mainly in Toronto of late.  It might just be the 2.0 version of the classic Canadian tall poppy syndrome, but this strain is turning out to be stronger & scarier than swine flu.  Victims are compelled (nay, forced?) to gush out unnecessary mea culpas, fall on their twittering swords & hide in abject terror of the virus reappearing.  It disguises itself as a ‘transparency’ inoculation or an ‘authenticity’ booster shot, but there is only one diagnosis for the unfortunate malady-stricken online risk-takers – they’ve been bitten by social media schadenfreude.

Now I’m the first to grab the popcorn when things get spicy on the political scene, and don’t get between me and my indierock drama…BUT when it comes to jumping down people’s throats in an online/professional context…I get a little…empathetic.  By the luck of astrologically-aligned-nerd-stars, my salty slangly casual language whilst pitching bloggers, writing content & generally floundering through life has not put in me in this position.  According to the law of averages, until I am drafted to the WNBA, I will soon play the role of the  ’social media practitioner’ or ‘community member’ receiving a thorough ego trouncing from the peanut gallery.  {In fact, if those web gremlins continue to highjack a lovely microsite/app-project we’re eager to seed/launch I might be in this position early next week :) }

We all make mistakes.  If we’re doing right by our clients, we aren’t just going through the same-old super-safe motions developing & executing campaigns.  Ask any stellar standup comedian.  Some jokes kill and some jokes bomb.  That’s life.

So on this turkey weekend eve, let’s be thankful that there are social media peeps still taking risks, let’s remember that when this happens with ad campaigns we think it’s unique & quirky & let’s consider the embarassment of riches we have in terms of attending awesome events.  Before you pile on to critique someone going out on a limb or trying something new or having an opinion…ask yourself if you really want to end up like these dudes:

Enough with the peanut gallery already

*Massive full disclosure – A staffer at Social Media Group is my basketball bud & I have been known to enjoy cheap soft-serve ‘ice cream’ with Refresh Events founder.

Leave a Reply