Shooting at YouTube headquarters calls generation’s obsession with fame into question


The attack on YouTube headquarters left three injured.

Sierra Rozen

Our generation’s obsession with social media fame has reached an all time high. With the recent shooting at Youtube headquarters and the woman who accidentally shot her boyfriend facing jail time, where does the quest for fame end?

The shooting at Youtube headquarters occured on April 3, and was committed by 38-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam. Three people were injured before the shooter turned the gun on herself and committed suicide.

Police believe she was motivated by the fact that the suspect had previously ranted about Youtube keeping her videos from getting views, as well as the demonetization of her videos. Aghdam was a small content creator who was shut out of making money from Youtube due to recent policy changes concerning view counts.

Another recent tragedy concerning Youtube was the accidental killing of Pedro Ruiz by his girlfriend Monalisa Perez on June 26, 2017. The couple were known for making prank videos, and decided to try out an experiment that would prove to be fatal. Ruiz placed a thick book on his chest as Perez fired a gun a foot away from him. However, the bullet ended up fatally piercing Ruiz in the chest.

Perez has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in December and was sentenced to six months of jail time. The mother of two is also forbidden from owning firearms for the rest of her life, and will be serving 10 years of probation.

From all of these tragedies, what can we as a generation take away from this? It is obvious that we have a sick obsession with doing anything for fame or views. Aghdam was willing to go on a murderous rampage after learning that she was not getting adequate views on videos. Ruiz and Perez thought their video idea would make them go viral. Ironically it did, but for all the wrong reasons.

I can’t begin to wrap my head around why some people would be so desperate for attention. In this day and age, we have become obsessed with getting a sufficient amount of likes on a picture for us to deem it as successful. When going places, we are all guilty of pulling out our phone to document whatever interesting thing we have planned for the day. Are we trying to curate this perfect image to present to our peers, or has it simply become habit for us to post our every move on social media?

Social media has become one of those “angel and devil on the shoulders” type of problems in recent years. On the pro side, we have never been more connected to each other. Anything we need is at the swipe of our fingertips. On the other hand, we have become unhealthily obsessed with it. We become jealous over other people’s seemingly amazing social lives.

I challenge everyone who reads this to start paying more attention to how we use social media. Perhaps if we didn’t have a craze for fame, things like this wouldn’t happen. It does not need to be the end of the world if we cannot achieve fame from the Internet. Instead, we could better ourselves, become kinder, smarter, more driven. We could turn this generation around.

Of course, I am not saying we should get rid of social media completely. Simply put, we need to put less importance on it. Yes, it is a fun thing for us to have, but it should not consume us.