What extremes do people go to for popularity on social media?

Affirmation in its varied forms and contexts - be it at work, in our social lives and even in our home environments - is very much a part of being human and living life. But what extent do people go be affirmed, even if it is by people they don't know?

Enter the concept of the 'social media trophy hunter' in the age of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. What personality type could have this label ascribed to them and what drives them?

Toby Shapshack, editor and publisher of Stuff Magazine spoke to 702’s John Robbie about this growing phenomenon of seeking social media praise, and the unfortunate consequences it sometimes has.

Searching for likes and retweets

It is a very sad phenomenon. It is the way the youth of the world communicate now. Like every form of technology that has come along; there’s the good and the bad. And I’m afraid this is an example of the bad.

Toby Shapshack

An example of the 'good': The Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity that involved dumping a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to encourage donations to medical research.

The challenge became popular on social media in 2014, and required online users to nominate each other after they had filmed and uploaded their completed activity.

Shapshack says that this kind of online contest is a positive example, although it did faced some criticscm, of drawing attention to something important and interesting.

An example of the 'bad': The Fire Challenge

The Fire Challenge, involving dousing themselves in alcohol, setting themselves alight and then jumping into a bath, shower or pool, seems to have returned to social media for another round. Participants also nominate one another and film and upload their completed challenge.

Adriaan told 702’s John Robbie about the return of this senseless online craze, which was also reported in 2014.

This fire challenge is turning out to be a great headache across social media. There have already been reports of participating youngsters getting seriously injured and sometimes losing their lives.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show:

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