The Ultimate Digital Footprint: Donald Trump

Oh boy! This is going to be fun! Quick disclaimer; since this can only inevitably cross over into personal politics, I’m going to start this post by saying I’m not a fan. If you are a fan, I would say stop reading this right now and if you’re not, then you might find some catharsis in my rantings. With all of that being said, let’s begin.

If you don’t already know who Donald Trump is, where the fuck have you been and how do I become so oblivious to my surroundings? The best (and probably nicest) way to describe Trump is that he is a very polarizing figure who is notorious for his Twitter use. I’m going to pretend that you’ve all just woken up from being cryogenically frozen and give you the rundown about this controversial figure.

Donald J. Trump was born in 1946 and quickly made his mark as a prolific businessman. In 2003, Trump started hosting The Apprentice on NBC, which he would do until 2015. Around the same time, he announced his campaign to run for U.S. President, which he succeeded on November 8, 2016 becoming the oldest elected President in U.S. history, but also the first president to have no background in politics or the military. He was inaugurated on January 20, 2017, exactly one year ago from the time this blog post is being written.

So, yeah. This is the reality we live in. A businessman and a reality show host is currently the most powerful man in the world. The question as to why or how this came to be is not what this article is about (although it would make for an interesting one). What I am here to talk about is his social media use, particularly Twitter, from before and after he became President. In laments terms, I’m gonna just share some of my favorite tweets and make fun of them, because it’s really easy to do so and I’m celebrating my birthday tonight and could use a break.

I’m going to go through Trump’s other social media platforms before getting to the main course. In comparison to his Twitter, Trump’s Facebook account seems tame. Don’t get me wrong, it spews the same bullshit as all of his other platforms, but it’s clearly run by someone else. Whoever is running the page is doing an okay job at replicating Trump’s shitty personality, but isn’t quite up to snuff with the man himself. I have proof to back up this theory, as Trump himself said that he thought Facebook was out to get him.

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 1.07.53 PMWith this tweet in mind, it’s safe to say that he isn’t a fan.

I’ll move onto Instagram, which just looking at his page right now is really funny because, again, it kinda comes back to Twitter. The first screen alone is just screenshots of Tweets.

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There is more to his Instagram, but it’s mostly just him bragging about all the things he’s done to the point where one may think that it’s his own private porn page.

He has a Youtube page but from what I can tell, it’s reserved to ad campaigns and other things in that vein, which doesn’t give me much to talk about. With that said, lets move on to the big one.

Donald Trump joined Twitter in 2009, and I don’t think that anyone would’ve expected that it would change the world. His tweets are the stuff of legends. People will look back one day to see when it all went wrong and they would probably pinpoint it to the moment he joined Twitter. It really makes me wonder; what was his first tweet? Is anyone else curious? Let’s check…

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You know? It’s really weird and refreshing to see a tweet from Trump that doesn’t immediately make me clench up out of fear. At this point, it would only be right to start poking fun at his Twitter. First off, and I’ve never actually seen this complaint before but, I have to ask, what the fuck is up with his Twitter banner?

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I’m not criticizing the picture itself, it more of the fact that it’s pixelized to shit. I know it’s a little difficult to see here, and it also may be nitpicking, but seriously? It’s 2018 and you’re the president. Step up your game, man. It may look fine on an iPhone, but on a brand new iMac, it looks like I downloaded a picture from the dark web of someone’s last known photograph.

I shouldn’t even have to comment on the tweets themselves given how infamous they’ve all become, but I am going to analyze some of the trends that they have in common and then get into specifics later. I mentioned earlier how it’s very obvious when someone else is speaking in place of Trump. The difference is that while the people speaking in place of Trump are shitty, Trump’s tweets are downright nihilistic in most instances. Since he has become President, social media has been a voice for not only him and his eager followers, it has also been a voice for his detractors, which is about half the population of the U.S. and most parts of the world (Russia excluded for obvious reasons). Trump has been known to block people that he doesn’t agree with and it’s almost become a meme to try and get blocked by him. His tweets generally fall into three categories: dishonest media/fake news tweets, blaming democrats for his own failures, and my personal favorite, shitposting. Shitposting is basically posting solely to get a rise out of people. On a good day, you get all of these aspects in one like this tweet…

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…but generally they’re in separate camps. Occasionally, you’ll get the general update like today since it’s been one year since he’s been President, but those aren’t as memorable.

Trump has mastered an art of sort, in that he can basically do anything he wants and gets significantly less blowback for it than he should. It’s really weird because a normal Tuesday for Trump on Twitter would be the end of someone else’s career. The first major assignment I did studying social media habits was that of Logan Paul’s “dead body” video, and while that was absolutely abhorrent, I believe Trump is far worse in almost every regard. I mean, sure. It’s absolutely tasteless to film a dead body for views and that is a conversation to be had, however potentially causing a nuclear holocaust to inflate one’s ego for the sake of himself is far scarier. I would say that’s just my opinion, but it genuinely frustrates me that some people don’t get that it’s generally a bad idea to provoke leaders. I guess I could see the argument if I were a person with blind faith in someone to do the right thing..but I’m not and I don’t have faith in him to do anything good for humanity. The point is, it felt like people had an enthusiastic energy to do something about Logan Paul, while in Trump’s case, it seems as though people just accept everything he does as just something Trump does, which is a frightening concept to say the least. When all the shit about Harvey Weinstein came out, people didn’t just say “Oh well, that’s just Harvey”. People ended his career instantly and rightfully so. Which makes it all the more frustrating that Trump gets to stay President, as he’s not only been accused of doing similar things Harvey was accused of, but he’s also done far worse. The point of this mini-rant is that a lot of his worse action were started on Twitter.

Has he done anything right? Not really. When someone tweets and your head immediately goes to the worst case scenario, that means something isn’t being done right. I genuinely believe that the course correction that could be attempted is for Donald Trump to leave Twitter indefinitely, or at least until he ceases to be President, which by my calculations is either only a couple of years or a couple of months away depending on whether or not North Korea decides to bomb us. That way, Trump could only be an idiot in the realm of reality where he only says every thought in his head when he’s being pressed by interviewers, where he has some form of restraint (albeit, not that much). If I had to improve the sinking ship that is his Twitter, I would have someone more qualified  to run it, but then again, I could use that same argument for his presidency. Hell, even if he had a political puppet do his bidding as President, like some evil cartoon character, that puppet would still be a hell of a lot more diplomatic than what we have right now. The way I see it, things won’t get better until he’s out of office and away from the public eye. I sincerely hope his presidency doesn’t inspire hope in other talk show hosts to run for president…

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…fuck.

References:

https://www.instagram.com/realdonaldtrump/

https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAql2DyGU2un1Ei2nMYsqOA

Featured Image is watermarked

Screen captures done by yours truly

P.S Had a very fun time in your class! See you Monday for the next one!

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My Experience In Live Broadcasting: Part 1

I want to take you back to 2012. I had just started high school and one of my very first classes was a course in TV Production. I had zero experience in film at this point. I had experimented with stop motion animation, but that was as far as it went. I remember being quite nervous at the time, due to the fact that I had not seen anything like the studio that I’d be working in. When I pictured the class, I had thought that it’d just be some other nerds in a broom closet filming things that would never see the light of day. I was wrong in several regards. While by no means the biggest studio I have ever seen, WPMC  has a very large studio for what we were probably going to do in class. Other than the broom closet thing, I was mostly right in the sense that we were all nerds and none of the projects ever surfaced online…at least I hope not.

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The first two weeks in that class were a nightmare, looking back on it. Since I was a freshman lumped into a group of seniors, I wasn’t able to speak much. It was almost as if I was dismissed before I even had a chance. This also could have been attributed to the fact that I was a pretty shy person at the time, so I can’t put all the blame on them. That all changed, when we started our first project: a drug PSA. From what I remember, the first time people started listening to my ideas was when I pitched some effect ideas that I had learned how to do. The idea was that the man in the video is hallucinating and that my friends head was going to eat his entire body; not particularly imaginative looking back, but it was enough to get people’s attention.

After that, I slowly began to learn everything that there was to learn: editing, camera techniques, how to use a tri-caster and a teleprompter, making on screen graphics etc. I even had my first crack at screenwriting while I was there. My first scripts weren’t that great, but they had my sense of humor written all over it…no pun intended. One of the very first pieces of work I had written was Act Four of a four act Space Opera called Space Aides. How we were able to get away with that title, I still have no idea. My goal, was to basically throw every single cliche plot point on screen to the point that it was satirical. The whole thing played like a person watching Star Wars while undergoing a bad acid trip. Although I didn’t act in it, it’s still my favorite project from that class.

Shortly after that, the crew for the school’s morning announcements were looking for new recruits. They filmed live in the same studio we used for our projects. I had made friends with the people who ran the show and asked if I could join. I started before the school year ended. Some of my friends came along with me and it created a bond of which I still haven’t been able to replicate to this very day. Some of my fondest memories were the times I spent doing that show. Around the time of senior year, my friend and I were the two people in charge of the show, and I have to say I think we did a great job. It wasn’t always fun, but when it was, it was the best. I will leave this post with a clip of a time when I was on morning announcements during Halloween of 2015. I may do a second post describing the later years in more detail.