When your content creation gets you shot at… is it worth the clicks?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been writing about people oversharing on social media and, more specifically, people oversharing about their relationships on social media.

Because I don’t follow any “influencers” and I couldn’t name one “YouTuber” or “TikTok’er” I found it interesting when one of our readers shared a story from a few weeks back.

Hunter Avallone (described by the website TooFab as a “YouTube star”) and his girlfriend, Holle Peno (a “Twitch star”), posted in near real time her ex-boyfriend showing up at Avallone’s West Virginia apartment with a gun.

Avallone begins recording after he says Peno was shot by the ex and the two cower on a balcony as police are said to be confronting the gun-toting ex across the building. In the video, allegedly taken moments after Peno was said to be shot, Avallone is heard narrating as he makes a 911 call.

Local police later confirmed that “a brief exchange of gunfire (with officers) ensued resulting in the suspect taking his own life.” In the days leading up to the encounter – and following it – the couple shared screenshots of conversations with the ex, identified as “Conrad,” and laid out the drama for viewers.

The couple was blasted (no pun intended) on social media for exploiting the situation for “clicks” and “drama” while noting that discussing the ex and posting previous interactions with him didn’t help the situation.

There’s something bizarre about society when the first thought is to grab a phone and start recording when your life is on the line. Keeping it for evidence of something, fine, but I wonder how many people only consider that as an afterthought. The first thought for many people is content-content-content.

We all have messy stuff in our lives. Does everybody’s social media page need to act as a reality show storyline? Moreover, should people ease up as “content creators” and “influencers” and focus on actually, you know, living life and not worrying about entertaining people?

Several years ago, people tried to break into my house while I was home. My first instinct wasn’t to grab my phone and start live streaming while asking for audience feedback. In fact, I’ve still never mentioned it on social media and only briefly told the story on the radio months after it happened.

Ditto with my relationship. Early on, I threw my husband out of the house – literally into the Manitoba winter – twice after he betrayed me. It was many years later that I shared the story on the radio because we were discussing relationships. I didn’t rush to Facebook after slamming the door to report to my followers. Why? Because it’s private. Remember hearing the term “having a private life”? I did. And I do. And it’s wonderful – even after being in the newspaper for 20 years and on the radio for 18 years.

I’m not saying exploiting a relationship on social media got one “influencer” allegedly shot and another man killed — but, I mean, maybe a little? Always ask yourself: are the clicks worth it? Really? Are they?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.