It might seem like a strange fit to have this topic appear on Kids Activities Blog, but when I watched the two new Fyre documentaries I felt like this is something parents need to watch.
This world that we are raising our kids in is different than when we were raised.
And information is power.
So, let’s start this conversation. The Fyre Festival story is one of social media influence gone awry. And while the people involved don’t seem to think anyone was hurt, the aftermath of the story will be felt in the lives of the local people of Exuma, Bahamas and those who were scammed.
What Happened at Fyre Festival?
The basic storyline starts with a ton of good marketing specifically through influencers on Instagram, one big party in the Bahamas that was filmed as a promo and a ton of promises about a music festival. The timeline was too tight to ever let this happen. The budget was completely out of control. The delivery was dismal.
Here is a really good summary from Internet Historian on YouTube:
Netflix’s Fyre Documentary
I liked the way Netflix’s version explained the marketing leading up to the canceled festival. It showed how influencers were used and manipulated to create a buzz surrounding promises, not facts. It was the one I liked the best because I think it had the most clearly outlined series of events. If you are going to watch both, then I would start with this one.
The reason I liked the way Netflix told this story is because anyone who is on social media will never look at their feed the same way.
Here is the trailer for the Netflix movie…
Hulu’s Fyre Fraud Documentary
I liked Hulu’s Fyre documentary because it dove into the psychology behind how this happened. Not only from the standpoint of the people who bought tickets, but the mind of its founder, Billy McFarland.
Our Kids & Social Media Influence
Every generation has had to learn that there are people leveraging things we all know and love for their own gain. This whole situation reminded me of cleaning out my great-aunt’s things when she moved to a nursing home and finding that she had subscribed to ever single magazine and book club that sent her a postcard invitation. It was thousands of dollars a year that she didn’t have. Yet in her day mail wasn’t junk. It was a reliable source of information and correspondence. As primitive as that may sound today, social media is today’s mailbox.
While I believe that most influencers do feel a responsibility for actions that might affect followers, they don’t always have all the facts to make a conscious decision and so much of what is posted might be a quick decision or something they take an agent’s word for. Yes, the FTC is around to help clarify what is sponsored and what is not, but it is doubtful if the hashtag #ad had been added to those tweets and Instagram posts it would have dampened the viral nature of the posting. Being paid for a post has almost become a badge of honor with some users faking sponsored posts.
It is a conversation to have with teens. A story of warning that can be told. The Netflix version shows how the marketing push was so persuasive and persistent that even when facts were clear, it was hard to overcome the dream. I am surprised there weren’t more victims…
How do we make sure this doesn’t happen again?