Fyre Festival & The Power of Social Media

January 29, 2019

   Last week I was invited to go to Punta Cana with one of my friends whose close friends represents an all-inclusive resort where she gets to stay at for crazy cheap whenever she’s in the mood to travel. When they invited me I couldn’t resist because it’s not too often you’ll get invited to stay in the Dominican Republic for 4 days with everything included for $60! It was probably the worst time career wise for me to leave LA because I spent 99% of the time working or trying to find working WiFi, but I loved hanging out with them.

While I was gone the Fyre Festival debacle came to light with 2 new documentaries on Hulu & Netflix. I’ve been following Fyre Festival for some time because I used to hang in the same circle as Billy (the founder) when I lived in NYC and a bunch of my friends at the time tried to convince me to sign up for Magnises, his first failed business. No part of me could afford nor felt the desire to have a black American Express style credit card in my possession. Sure I would’ve taken the card if someone could’ve paid the annual fee for me, but I couldn’t afford to pay it myself as a struggling entrepreneur living in the city. As time went on I continued to feel left out when people I was at dinner with would pull out the Magnises card, but I just reminded myself that I’d rather have the real platinum card when I was successful enough.

   I never met him personally but we remain FB friends (guess he won’t have access to Facebook in prison) and I stayed fascinated by his entrepreneurial spirit as he launched Fyre after Magnises. I so desperately wanted to go to the festival because I love music, and I loved the idea of a private plane! For $1,500, I was literally willing to give up my apartment for the month to spend 2 days in the Bahamas. What the h*** was I thinking?! I was totally hooked on the idea.

I didn’t go because my friend Alix refused to spend that much money on a festival and she was the only person I wanted to go with. If you’re reading this Alix, THANK YOU!

Now that I’ve watched both documentaries over the past week, I wanted to talk about the power of social media. There’s something to be said about the fact that this entire festival existed off of social media. You were probably living under a rock if you didn’t see the Fyre Festival initial advertisement, filled with Kendall, Bella and every other super model in the book frolicking on a beach with champagne and pigs. The concept behind Fyre was intriguing and captivating. Who wouldn’t want to spend a few days with Kendall Jenner in a private villa or on a private plane? All you had to do was watch their genius and beautifully created video to *stupidly* agree to give your apartment up for 1 month to get to the Bahamas.

FOMO is a real thing. FOMO is something I talk about during every social media and mental health school talk. Missing out on any opportunity is never fun, and missing out on something that could be something is even worse. We admire these influencers and celebrities so much that if they are buying a new car, you’re looking for which body part or piece of furniture in your parents’ house you can sell to finance your own BMW or Tesla. Kendall Jenner or Will Smith is skydiving? You’re probably considering it now too. Think about the viewssssss.

Views. Views. Views. Likes. Views. Likes. While I was in the Dominican my friend casually said that she posted her picture and it wasn’t getting enough likes. She had posted it probably 3.5 minutes before she said that. I said to her honestly, you have much more going on in your life than caring about how many likes you get within 3.5 minutes. Who really gives a s*** or is paying attention to anything you post besides your biggest critic: yourself?

It’s not Kendall Jenner or Bella Hadid’s fault that Fyre festival was a disaster. They were paid to do a job: either post an orange block on Instagram (genius) or get flown on a private jet to the Bahamas for 48 hours to swim with pigs and pretend they even knew what Fyre was. You’re paid to drive to an office building and work behind a desk, just as much pretending you care about whatever sales call or person you have to email multiple times to get a response from as they cared about Fyre festival. Just because you aren’t taking a private jet to work doesn’t mean there is a huge difference between the social media world and careers in the real world.

Point being, these people you so dearly want to be or be friends with are busy living their lives and getting paid to do so. If you were offered $250,000 to post an orange square or pretend you have acne, would you not do that because a part of you may feel slightly fraudulent? I mean it’s $250,000. The issue is that you (or your favorite influencer) don’t realize the power social media has. As much as you envy someone, they just as much envy the person with the bigger house or nicer Tesla. I hate to say social media is fake but so much of it is. It’s the highlight reel of what any of us want to see. Keep that in mind when you’re scrolling through social media or debating which music festival to hit up next. You never really know someone or something until it’s affecting your life.

Now enjoy some pictures of my short vacation with my friends 🙂

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