Yesterday, my pal Elan Gale live-tweeted his note exchange with an angry woman called “Diane” on a delayed flight. Buzzfeed is obsessed with it so you can read their post here. He sent “Diane” a letter and a glass of wine after the plane took off, and throughout the entire flight they exchanged notes.
He said “Diane” even threatened to call authorities and actually slapped Elan when they got off the plane.
Not one single article questions the legitimacy. Why does this bug me? I’ve done both real and fake funny twitter things. I posted a fake winning lottery ticket that got picked up by a few media sites, but I admitted it was fake a few hours later. I got harassed, berated, and endlessly questioned for my Brian Presley live-tweeting that people still ask me if it actually happened. Yes, it was completely true. I had websites writing about how I was taking anti-depressants so I MUST be lying. People went deep into my history to try to prove me wrong. The Daily Mail claimed I was a liar because I dated a radio show host who likes “radio pranks.” Is it because I’m a woman who confronted a guy that my story needed to be set straight? Had Elan been a woman, and the passenger a guy, would more people think he was lying? The story itself doesn’t bother me, just that it’s being accepted so easily. I’m sure if someone wanted to really investigate it, they could get a report from the airport where he was slapped or ask the airline attendants if it actually happened. I find it hard to believe an employee wouldn’t report violent behavior, since “Diane” was boarding a connecting flight. Any type of violence in any airport would cause the police to be called, especially since the recent shooting at LAX.
Instant fame from shock-worthy social media incidents keeps getting more and more popular. It’s like how MTV’s The Real World is total shit now because all they’re interested in are people who are willing to do stupid things to get short-lived media coverage. Content is being ignored and attention is all that matters. Remember last week when we all believed the lesbian server who claimed a family wrote something homophobic on a receipt and it ended up all being fake? In that case, she profited from her stupid prank, which is just so morally wrong. The only thing Elan is gaining is popularity and the contentment of making people laugh. Who doesn’t want that? That’s more or less the entire reason for Twitter anyway.
If I were to dig deeper into the “Diane” story I could simply Google Elan and see his history with similar online incidents:
1. Neighbor drama posted on Tumblr. Notes being left on doors, Elan claiming to have sent flowers to his neighbor’s girlfriend to cause drama. Also, the note left on Elan’s door had quotes around his name too, just saying. Why hasn’t anyone examined this and questioned him?
2. He also did a “blind-date live-tweet.”
Does this really truly matter if it was fake or not? Not at all. We were all entertained. I’m just annoyed that his his blind-date tweets and neighbor drama posts haven’t been brought up as a possible reason for the story being a hoax. He didn’t even post a picture of “Diane” or take a picture of the back of her seat. I was torn apart after I live-tweeted that douche bag actor, and the female server was investigated too. Why is Elan not being questioned? Why are women the only ones being questioned? Is it as simple a reason as misogyny? Women aren’t as powerful as men, therefore their actions must be questioned?
We are all just lemmings taught to believe anything we read on the internet. If it’s a fun story and makes us laugh, there’s nothing wrong with it. But in the case of the lesbian server and the homophobic receipt, finding out it was fake hurt a lot of people, including the restaurant owner and the people who donated money to her. She’s a real piece of shit. From my experiences with Elan he is the opposite of a piece of shit. He’s a very friendly, creative guy with a great sense of humor. I can definitely say he “won” the internet yesterday.