Digital damage - Kids bashing celebrity parents on social media expected to increase in the future
Over the past two years, some children of high-profile Jamaican celebrities have turned to social media to air their family's dirty laundry. More recently, Buju Banton's son, Markus Myrie, uploaded chilling posts to his Instagram account, accusing his dad of physical assault. In a follow-up post yesterday, Myrie voiced regret about taking the family issue to the public domain, and urged his father to play a more active role in his children's lives.
Myrie's actions mimic other millennial influencers' like singer and daughter of Tony Rebel, Davianah, who, this year, accused her father of physically abusing her, while bashing his spouse Queen Ifrica.
Dancer and daughter of Beenie Man, Desha Ravers, has also used social media on several occasions to criticise 'The Doctor' about his parenting skills and his relationship with media personality Krystal Tomlinson.
Although persons often use social media to express themselves, social media specialist Dennis Brooks said that these venting sessions are damaging to a celebrity's brand.
"There is a Jamaican Proverb that says: 'If fish come from water bottom and tell yuh seh shark down there, believe him.' This is your kid saying that 'you are a horrible father' or 'the king of whatever is an AH'. It's a method of doing the ultimate damage to them because they work so hard to build their platform, and it's an attack on their brand," Brooks told THE STAR.
He added that the frequency of these posts can be attributed to the growing access to the Internet and the consequences of an ever-evolving digital era.
"Persons of my demography might see it as 'Why did you have to take it on to social media?', but for them (millennials) it's like going out on the verandah. Social media is an extension of their identity," he said.
MEDIUM OF EXPRESSION
"We've moved from tangible spaces into virtual spaces, so it doesn't seem like anything to them, who are natives of this space, to use it as a medium of expression."
With more competition for cheaper data plans, smart phones and social media applications, Brooks said that the public will continue to witness what he describes as the airing of 'digital dirty laundry'.
"I don't think we can keep these issues off social media. I think we'll see more of it in the years to come in greater degrees and numbers," he said.
"There will be disagreements and confrontations, and as people get more access to the Internet, the notion of public and the notion of dirty laundry are going to evolve into digital public and digital dirty laundry."
One person who is adamant about keeping family affairs private is Naomi Cowan, the daughter of music veterans Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis. The Paradise Plum singer told THE STAR that spilling any tea on social media leaves an irremovable stain.
"No matter how hot-headed I may feel, I have to remind myself that anything I put out there is forever. Even if you have a private Instagram account, people can still screenshot your posts and share it," she said.
"My parents are public figures, so I've felt a secondary spotlight on me all my life. I've always been aware of what I'm saying and doing, and I know those things have an impact. From I was a little girl, I've known how to handle things privately. I make a conscious effort to not use social media to vent negative emotions."