Social Faux Pas Pass Online

Written by S. Bowyer

 

     When a friend breaks up with someone, the last thing you would say is congratulations. Yet, recent online events brought about some very interesting reactions. Social faux pas on the social networks? Oh yes!

 

Ray William Johnson    Ray William Johnson, 33, has been a video blogger and host of his show, =3 for some years. He has 10.6 million subscribers on YouTube and became a household name. His show has had many celebrity guests such as Robin Williams, Jason Biggs, Magaret Cho, and Gabriel Iglesias. In 2011, he launched YourFavouriteMartian, an adult band represented only in cartoons, such as Josie and the Pussycats. After meeting with another YouTube celebrity, he began some collaborations which earnt him even more success.

 

 

 

Anna Akana

 

     Anna Akana is another YouTube celebrity, releasing videos about her life and her passions. She began as a stand-up comedienne, and started her own channel when Ray William Johnson befriended her at a CBS Diversity Showcase, and she gained 760,000 fans in just over a year. Her latest project was Riley Rewind, a series about suicide and bullying in High school.

 

 

 

Anna and Ray

     

     Ray and Anna became a YouTube "Power couple", working on projects together, and becoming one of the most-known couples on the Internet. That is, until this year. In the first week of July, Anna Akana wrote on her Facebook:

      "as you may have heard, Ray and I broke up. Back to plan A; marry my soul mate and wait for them to die."

 

 

 

On Ray's Facebook page: 

     "I was waiting for the right time to tell you guys. . . .Anna and I broke up back in early May. We wanted to let things cool down before we announced it. Guess now is as good a time as any.   Without getting into detail, just know that there is no juicy story to tell. The relationship had run its course. Sometimes things just don't work out the way you hoped they would. We're adults. We're dealing it the best way we can. Thanks for understanding."

     It was to be commended that the couple had given each other time before making a public announcement, and that neither wanted to harm the others' career or public image.  Some viewers thought it was a joke, that this was in preparation for Ray finding his new =3 host, and that Anna would be it, but this was not the case. Several days later, Ray posted:

"Ladies… This bachelor is now eligible. They now call me Bae William Johnson. #FreeSamplesAvailableUponRequest"

 

     A few weeks later, Anna posted her new video, Single, Not Ready to Mingle, where she spoke about her decision to take time for herself for a year. She considered her life a string of guys and thought she should take some time to do tasks for herself, and hopefully avoid the "you'll meet someone soon" talk that most relatives will speak. She openly talks about Ray in a respectful way, and talks about what the breakup means to her.

 

  

 

     What followed were some unbelievable comments, very few you would say to someone's face. However the judgements flew over the video comments section, along with suspicions, criticisms, and falsehoods. While reading through these, think about how you would feel if they were said to you after a breakup, when you'd just told people that you would be taking time for yourself for a while. Take note that these comments were posted on HER YouTube video.

 

Really easy to say for a beautiful girl that can have nearly 90% of the male population at her fingertips if she wanted to. Yeah sure, go ahead. Take the luxury of CHOSING to be single. Just remember that a lot of people would DIE for having that choice.

* I'm 80% sure that Anna is the one who called it off.
--Yeah, after she got e-famous and made money off of him. Gold diggers unite.

* Just watch those videos and see how they slowly drift apart untill the last one. Btw like this comment if you think Anna will die old an alone.  (119 people agreed with this comment)

* I personally think that Anna did something that brought them where they are now..silly mistake... flirt, cheat or attempt and by "too good for him" I'm sure he can find better!

* FINALLY I HAVE A CHANCE WITH RAY

* But honestly though, why do people care about them breaking up? They're entertainers, comedians! They're supposed to entertain. That's why Ray made his channel, and Anna made hers.

* Aww remember when they talked about getting married?

* So ray never popped the question so you left him because you wanted children and he didn't?

* Thank god she is gone.

* Ray is totally going to win the breakup, am sorry to say

* "passion for a work ethic and your talent for acting"... now that she has sponsors and connections she figures she doesn't need RWJ anymore...Who didn't see this coming!?

* Don't stay single for too long because you'll get old and ugly.

* This made my cry so hard!!!! YOU TWO WERE PERFCT!!

* Well that shouldn't take long...your career isn't goin any where so it shouldn't take you long to get back into the mix of dating....I give 2...3...4...days before you feel obligated to go and date again cause you can't stand being alone...yes you are one of those lolololol

* Ray should take all the subscribers he gave you lol

* It ok.. we understand. Ray was too good for you anyways # flat chested (racial slur)

* You deserved to break up with Ray, he felt misconceived about himself because he thought that his =3 show was getting out of date for him, which in this case, resulted with huge consequences such as your breakup. You just took away a lot of his time, I'm sorry to say. Hope you live a good life, you're going to need that by the way.

* Ya weren't good relationship material, cute, but a mess hahaxD

* U should give ray congress (their cat - Ed.) and he did kinda help u get alot of publicity 

* "I kinda only like you because of ray. f*** you anna. Unsubbing.

* So so glad that yoko anna is no longer with ray midget..now he can do what he does best without interruptions

* Soo.... Abortion then?

* or maybe you shud go all Lesbian.

* Everyone being sentimental for Anna ,but what about Ray? He must be crying his eyes out... right after nailing like 20 chicks and yelling out ... FREEDOM!

 * i heard someone said, it is because one of them wants kid, and the other ones doesn't, is that true???

* So I can continue to fantasize about you, AND internet stalk you guilt free for a year? Awesome!

   

 

     Interestingly, Ray posted his videos, which didn't directly address the break-up, but the comments were more subdued from his viewers. The comments his videos received were: 

* Ill take a wild guess and say that its because Ray didn't please Anna in bed :D I know I should be talking like that, but there is no really other explanation.

* She was most likely shagging Derek, u see the way they looked at each other all the time

* Good for him. Anna is an annoying feminazi

* i am happy that they broke up that girl was annoying. wohoooo

* Anna is fugly btw

* He is happy for a guy that just went thru a brake up

* True... He doesn't look so much as if he is constantly chewing off the inside of his own face anymore... Plus, VEGAS!!!!!

 

 

     So why were the comments left for Anna more brutal? 

a) she directly addressed the break up and people felt it their right to give their opinion

b) Anna was the "lesser known" of the power couple and considered the weaker

c) Most of her viewers were subscribed to Ray first and felt a sense of loyalty

d) Women and men are regarded differently during break ups in celebrity situations

e) something else

 

     In contrast, another YouTuber, Charlie Mcdonnell, wrote about his breakup in candid honesty, as did his partner, and the comments left were supportive throughout.

* I have been wondering a few weeks now.. But I'm sad to hear that you broke up. But I'm sure you both find the best boy/girlfriend you deserve and be happy you parted in a good way! Best of luck to both of you :)

* I can be your moral support :-) I'm mean if you don't want it that's fine I mean you don't know me but ya

* Although its sad, I guess it was for the best. If things were becoming difficult them yeah.. I guess it shouldnt be forced. But your fans are always here for you and (if you needed to) we could all meet up and be a shoulder to cry on! :) x

 

     So the question now becomes, if not all YouTube break ups are met with such distaste, why this one? What could someone possibly do to have such a wave of hate wash over them? Upon Googling the word "hate" with Anna's name, I found a Facebook page called, Anna Akana is the New Yoko Ono. The group was formed in February, 2013. The group has a total of 21 likes. Their statement reads: 

"Just a page for people who share the opinion that Anna has pulled a Yoko Ono on Ray William Johnson. Ray, we still love you."

"Examples of why we think this are mainly due to the sudden change in EVERYTHING Ray does/was doing before she came along. =3 is different, but Ray claims it's how he always wanted it, so we'll kinda let that slide. But her cameo EVERY episode??? No. No thanks. Also, we now get hundreds of "Behind the scenes" vids on http://www.youtube.com/user/runawayplanet which are again, just excuses for her to hog the limelight. And worst of all: Suddenly there's no more YourFavouriteMartian and Ray's gone off on his Solo carear. Good luck to Ray if this is what he REALLY DEEP DOWN INSIDE wants, but I can see a nasty situation forming when the Love Goggles wear off."

     A commentor on the Facebook Group stated, "Regardless, I just cant digest her... she sells like a sell out, acts like a sell and talks like a sell out....plus her corky attitude really brings nothing to an intellectual blogging experience. . . To end all this ...she cant take criticism... yeah no she is well known to block anything that seems like a good jab in her direction. "

     Subsequent Google searches brought up no other websites of hate towards Akana. 

     Maybe this is just the trend in social networks when both partners are known by all, and the feed is not moderated? Akana has power to remove the negative comments made about her break up on the video, as most YouTuber posters can to protect themselves. 

     An article on Facebook, labelled, From the Mind of a Man: How Do You Feel After A Breakup? gave a new perspective to public notifications of breakups, and how men possibly see it differently:

     "But if we dump you, chances are we’re thinking about everything but the woman we just parted romantic ways with. We’re thinking about the other women we want to see naked, or bratwursts at Sunday’s game, or rocking Xbox sans pants. Yet again, since we all share the same spectrum of passions, we’re probably relieved that we escaped a bear trap without our paw is intact, and are slightly guilty. "

     "Can I ask a question? Why do women talk about their breakups all the time to the entire world? [Ouch.—Editor, again] It is totally full disclosure with y’all. You gush about feelings, fears, insecurities, and shockingly intimate details. It’s an embarrassing emote-a-thon to anybody and everybody, especially to fresh exes who don’t want to talk to you or shouldn’t be talking to you. It goes beyond honesty. It’s almost auto-exploitation. Write press releases."

     "I know it is “healthy” to express your emotions, to not pent them up and let them fester, or, worse, let it metastasize into a terminal prejudice towards love and relationships. But seriously, sometimes discretion is a virtue. There comes a point where letting it all hang out serves no purpose other than to perpetuate drama for drama’s sake."

     Petra Bynton, social psychologist and sex researcher, wrote in the Telegraph, "Some people find deleting their ex’s contact details prevent the urge from getting back in touch. Unfriending an ex on Facebook can help and avoid post-break up drama. "

   Nathan Chandler on Howstuffworks.com wrote an article called, 5 Ways to Prevent Facebook Drama During a Break Up. He writes, "With no clear guidelines or etiquette for Facebook breakups, there is only one way to be sure of avoiding drama. In short, be nice, and break up without posting it to your wall."

     "Also, don't use Facebook as an open diary to show that you're hurting. Yes, you can use public posts on Facebook to elicit sympathy from your supporters and make your ex look like a thoughtless, inconsiderate jerk. But don't let the technology trump your emotional intelligence."

 

     Could it just be that YouTube is the new Facebook, and that everyone feels they can have their say? The feeds aren't restricted to only a select audience, nor can only certain viewers be allowed to comment. The ability to leave comments can be removed from videos on YouTube, but often video creators want feedback -- constructive feedback.

     Additionally, could the principle of anominimity meaning no accountability be at play? A social theory is that people on the Internet feel less responsible for the things they do because there is not a face to respond to it. A study into tribes in Africa showed that civilisations that used masks during their violence were more violent than those who did not. It was hypothesized that the cultures wearing the masks didn't have to be "recognised" during the attacks and so felt more empowered to instill harm. In psychological terms, it's called deindividuation

     " Barbarians, or "trolls" as they became known, had entered the community, ignoring the rules, shouting loudly, encouraging violence, spoiling it for everybody. Thereafter, anyone who has established a website or forum with high, or medium-high ideals, has had to decide how to deal with such anonymous destructive posters, those who got in the way of constructive debate."

     Professor Tom Postumes , a professor of social and organisational Psychology states, "There is no particular type of person drawn to this kind of covert bullying, he suggests: "Like football hooligans, they have family and live at home but when they go to a match the enjoyment comes from finding a context in which you can let go, or to use the familiar phrase 'take a moral vacation'. Doing this online has a similar characteristic. You would expect it is just normal people, the bloke you know at the corner shop or a woman from the office. They are the people typically doing this…"

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