And when did invasion of privacy become the socially accepted norm on the internet?
Ever since posting and filming other people for content turned out as a “way for people to stay relevant” on the internet, specifically on TikTok, content of people being filmed without their consent has drastically doubled.
These often range from the “elderly/someone eating alone,” to “person randomly coming up to other people,” to “filming other people in love,” and ultimately (and begrudgingly), “turning other people into main characters.”
Take this for example:
It’s quite dystopian, to say the least, that avid users of the internet find this kind of content normal and “just content” that everyone eats up when it’s quite the opposite. No, it’s not normal and is actually criminally liable behavior in many different parts of the world. Yet, it’s still one of the most popular forms of content seen online.
can't even go eat a $13 bowl and check your phone during a lunch break anymore without getting papped for social commentary https://t.co/d3D1YxFC8v
— jenny (@jennygzhang) September 13, 2023
Canadian comedian and YouTuber Kurtis Conner says it best in his most recent video addressing the “weirdness” of it all by saying, “this ‘filming of strangers’ thing sort of runs tandem with ‘Main Character Syndrome.’”
And yes, if you don’t know what main character syndrome is, then here it is. (Also note: I mentioned in this article that there’s nothing wrong with it, it only becomes bad when we go overboard and go all out ‘delulu’ about it.)
Now, going over to the Philippines. As a country filled to the brim with people thirsty for clout, as well as addicted users of the internet, well, we’ve become somewhat immune to the repercussions people might get for posting people on the internet without their consent—because everyone, even the officials eat it all up.
And then cue to use it to make their own content a la Mr. Beast style.
Totally not funny, and totally un-cool.
Imagine just going about your day and business without a care in the world, and then a day later you see your face going viral on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, for something you do so normally yet suddenly sensationalized due to someone creating a false narrative about it. It did become a meme template at some point this year, but you’d be surprised to see a lot of unironic contents like this still going viral.
Sometimes, it’s even paired with some Bible verse or motivational quote that was just ripped off someone else’s content. And you know what’s worse? Getting unsolicited comments about how you look, how you’re dressed, how you’re doing the normal thing you were doing, and some sappy comments going like “aww, can relate” or “someone please help.”
Man, that’s a whole new phobia brewing up there. Someone should name that scientifically almost immediately because this is becoming a universal experience worldwide.
Filipinos eat any kind of content on the internet—from Pinoy-baiting content creators to crass humor, and down to straight-up misinformation and disinformation. This “taking videos and pictures of strangers and posting them online” content theme is also one of the most common things they like.
They eat it all up because Filipinos love seeing the “underdog gets what they deserve” tropes and the “scratch on the surface yet heartwarming” sad stories. Pairing it with the now over-romanticized main character syndrome, it has just become worse.
Not just worse, but a full-on epidemic where people literally have no control over what goes viral and what doesn’t. We all have to start becoming more vigilant about some content creators (and clout chasers) on the internet.
You never know when your face is the next viral thing on it. Weird, but sadly becoming more and more ordinary by the day.
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