For those of you who don’t have a kid between 8 and 12 years old in your life you might not know who Logan Paul is or what he’s about.
Logan Paul is an internet celebrity. Understand, that doesn’t mean he has any talent per se but he is incredibly successful at getting views – which equates to money. BIG money. His estimated net worth is $15 million. In 2017 he bought a $6.5 million mansion, launched a line of clothing, entered into partnerships with brands like Disney and Pepsi and starred in a movie. His reach across his social media platforms is 48.7 million viewers made up of our kids, who are loyal and highly influenced by him. All this because he posts videos of himself in everyday situations reacting outlandishly or pulling pranks.
His fame is based on always one-upping himself – doing something a little more outrageous than in his last video. And herein lies the problem. Vloggers like Logan Paul have blurred the lines of entertainment and inappropriateness. Their antics are making them famous so who cares whether it’s degrading, tasteless or outright dangerous.
A few months ago another famous vlogger sealed his head in concrete in a microwave. This was hilarious to his audience but the kid almost died!
Last week Logan Paul and his crew were in Japan and visited Aokigahara, a forest on the slopes of Mt. Fuji also known as the “suicide forest” for its status as a site of hundreds of suicides. According to Paul he had gone to the “haunted” forest intending to spend the night as a stunt for the video. While there, he and his friends stumbled across the body of a suicide victim. Not only did he describe the body in detail he kept the cameras rolling and even zoomed in to get close-ups. While this is horrifying enough, his nonchalant attitude despite a few comments about how “suicide is not a joke, depression and mental illness are not a joke” he revels in the fact that he’s making You Tube history. He opens the video, titled all in caps “WE FOUND A DEAD BODY IN THE JAPANESE SUICIDE FOREST…” stating, “I think this definitely marks a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever.’ He ended his intro saying: “Now with that said, buckle the f–k up because you are never going to see a video like this again.”
It seems to be lost on Paul and sadly his audience that this is a human being – someone’s son or father or brother. While the backlash against Paul has grown, when you speak with kids who saw the video their reaction is pretty blasé – no big deal that this kid and his friends just filmed a suicide victim.
Logan Paul’s You Tube channel might be shut down but there are plenty of vloggers who are lined up behind him and many of our teens would kill to be one of them. It’s hard not to be enticed by that kind of money. Sexy selfies and stupid stunts captured on video just might make any one of them the next social media celebrity. Just be as outrageous as you can and make sure your title is “click bait” because in the end it’s all about the clicks.