With the microscope that famous people live under in today’s ever increasing digital world, everyone’s game plan should be simple — don’t ever drawn any attention to yourself, if you could avoid it.
Heck, even non-famous people should live by that rule. Don’t tweet anything stupid. Avoid incriminating photos of yourself popping up on Facebook. And absolutely do not start your own blog. (Shit.)
And quite possibly the most daring form of attention seeking is hosting your own social media question-and-answer session.
These type of online conversations that break down the barrier between celebrities and their fans first became popular on Reddit, where they’re known as “Ask Me Anything.” It’s since moved over to Twitter and occasionally Facebook. And it’s often used by celebrities to plug their projects, or to engage in a public relations campaign.
Some people can get away with it. If you’re famous for exclusively positive reasons, then by all means, demand attention at your own risk. For example, Justin Timberlake can get away with anything. Everyone loves him. Teenage Nobel Prize recipient and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai would receive only praise. And a Q&A with Jesse Pinkman would be everyone’s dream come true.
And no, I don’t mean the actor Aaron Paul. I mean the actual Breaking Bad character. I don’t care if he’s not real.
If you have any reason for people to not like you — any reason at all — a social media Q&A is probably not a good idea. One by infamous NHL headhunter Chris Neil last year is a perfect example of that. Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James was also publicly flogged earlier this year after she implored questions using the hash tag #AskELJames.
Now, can you guess the last person in the world who should ever do this?
If you said Donald Trump, you were right. And it went exactly how you’d expect.
It’s easy to understand why he did it. He’s running for president and his campaign has relied entirely on making headlines, whether for good or bad reasons. But as arguably the most polarizing figure in the world — and definitely in the U.S. — right now, this was a disaster in the making.
“When did you get the idea to steal Hitler’s racist appeal?” asked one person. “Why are you such a misogynistic, racist, sexist person?” inquired another.
One dude even posted a photo of a potato and asked Trump if he thought it looked like him.
But what else would you expect from a guy who has already participated in a Comedy Central roast?
Speaking of which, has it occurred to any one that if Trump is somehow elected president, it means the most important person in the world’s most powerful country will have once been publicly shit on by Snoop Dogg and Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino?
Only in America, folks. Gotta love it.