Posted July 17, 2013 9:18 am by with 7 comments

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Well, this is definitely the dark side, or should I say dumb side, of the social media space for sure.

CBS New York reports about a ‘fan’ who ran onto the field during the MLB All Star Game last night.

There might not have been a ton of action on the field during Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game — the American League won a pitching duel, 3-0 — but spectators at the park were entertained when a fan sporting a Robinson Cano shirt ran onto the field and was taken down by security guards.

He’s known as @MasoneDylan on Twitter, and prior to the Midsummer Classic he tweeted that if he received 1,000 retweets he would “run across the field.”

Sure enough, he got the 1,000 retweets necessary.

You can guess what he did next. This is what he got for his efforts.

(Note: If this was in Philly they would have tasered him so this guy, unfortunately, gets off easy)

I am not playing the role of ‘stick in the mud’ here. It’s just that stunts like this in an age where people are wary of anyone doing anything that could even remotely smell of something more serious (in the wake of the Boston marathon bombings EVERYONE at events like this are on high alert) are not smart.

What makes it worse is that this action was driven by something as hollow as a number of retweets. It’s the social media version of a ‘double dog dare’ and it does no good for anyone, including the medium.

Unfortunately, there is no point to truly make here other than to think before you do something mindless especially at the urging of a group of virtual morons.

Something to really think about, however, is whether we have let the idea of having any kind of audience cloud our judgment so much that we will do anything if enough people retweet? Since it’s obvious some have already gone there then I would say this is trending poorly.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: From the NY Post we get this ray of hope because at least this kid’s mom tried to tell him that what he was planning was not smart.

Before the stunt, the teen sent out a picture of a text from his mother: “It’s not funny that’s a serious thing and u could get arrested if not worse please don’t b ridiculous.”

So all is not lost. At least parents are trying to keep kids from being stupid. As for success? Well, that’s another story.

  • MrAndrewJ

    Counterpoint: in the days before social media, people made the same run au naturale for the same attention. Social Media may have changed our interactions on the surface, but the drives and impulses still seem to come from the same place.

    • FrankReed

      Drives may be there as always but now the triggers that initiate those drives are multiplied by a factor of ‘a lot’ in the social media world.

      The guy who ran on the field in the past was not being egged on by a thousand miscreants who think having someone else do something stupid is ‘entertainment’. Now the folks who would have never had the stones to do this for their own reasons are being egged on by other creatures.

      We are in a new era that will likely serve to create more dangerous actions from SMP (social media pressure). Sad indeed.

      I really want to look at this more positively but I think that is simply being naive.

      • MrAndrewJ

        I agree in full. It’s also been happening online for a very long time, with Brandon Vedas being a very notable example from ten years ago. It’s a danger, and people should be aware of that.

        For good I’m jaded now. I hope to use it for good. I hope to ask what the human implications are. I hope to ask about the implications to trying to do business in that mass of madness. There are so many lessons in what happened ranging from marketing/viral marketing/failure to monitor a brand and just human decency. Seriously, #citifield got retweeted at least a thousand times. Who was or wasn’t watching?

        I do hope to see this behavior bottlenecked. Hopefully, enough people are paying enough attention to know that this is by no means an isolated occurrence of online peer pressure. Education (such as what you’re doing) is one very important step in that.

    • cynthialil

      I was going to make the same comment about streaking. We must come from the same era. As dumb as this was, I’m glad that’s all he was talked into doing. Surely people have done stupider things for less. . . which is indeed a worry.

      • FrankReed

        You know who will ultimately suffer for these stunts? It will be the low paid security guy who has been told to assume everyone is a threat. What happened to that kid when he got off the field? Was he searched? Was he roughed up? I think both are just fine personally but in the “protect us at all costs but don’t infringe upon anyone’s ‘civil rights'” world we live in it’s the proverbial ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ position. Don’t be surprised if you hear from this idiot again as he sues Citi Field and MLB for pain and suffering. Geesh. I have made myself angry with this post. It’s all my fault.

        • cynthialil

          Ouch, that’s so true. I had this thought recently, though I can’t remember why. It was another case of someone doing something stupid endangering the first responders who had to intervene. Given the way dumb videos explode on YouTube, I’m surprised more people don’t do these kinds of things for 15 minutes of fame.

          Now Frank, it’s time for ten minutes of desk yoga. Breathe in, breathe out

  • Liana Li Evans

    “(Note: If this was in Philly they would have tasered him so this guy, unfortunately, gets off easy)”

    toooooo darn true!! 🙂