Cell C #BreakTheNet Sparks Mixed Reactions

Fantomdan BTN

Hot Topic of the Week

Break The Net is the new digital reality show looking for the next South African YouTube sensation. Finalists stand the chance to win R250 000 and a trip to Hollywood. Cell C recently announced the Top 30 Finalists in the competition and while the news didn’t quite break the net, the first episode certainly sparked conversation amongst the community.

On 23 October, Cell C released the first of the #BreakTheNet weekly episodes and encouraged followers to tune in to see who the lucky contestants were, as well as their first challenge. Posts by the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter received a predominantly positive reaction, mainly in the form of likes. Others took the time to share words of encouragement and congratulate the winners. The finalists were also vocal about their excitement about the challenges ahead.

Although the majority of individuals responded positively, others were less impressed with the finalists who were selected. 102 individuals of the YouTube community voiced their disapproval of the outcome. Common themes in the negative conversation were finalists not being deserving of being selected, videos lacking originality, and ‘more worthy’ individuals not making it through.

Cell C BTN Episode 1 Response
The above graphic provides a snapshot of the reaction to the first #BreakTheNet episode of the Cell C reality series.

While it’s okay to voice your opinion, it’s important to understand the difference between sharing your point of view and being nasty. What is disappointing is that several of commenters who complained were YouTubers who had entered the competition themselves and not made it through. This is poor sportsmanship. Why detract from someone’s happiness simply because you, or someone you support, did not make the cut?

There are few opportunities for YouTubers in South Africa to make a name for themselves. We should be celebrating the wins of our peers instead of tearing each other down out of spite and jealousy. Whether you agree or disagree with an outcome, emotional intelligence is key to reacting in a way that communicates your point without it being at the expense of others. Interrogating why you feel it’s necessary to comment and what you hope to achieve through adding your opinion is another worthwhile consideration. I urge you to think twice before you weigh in with negativity and call out those who are discouraging any of the winners. I also hope you will take a moment to share your support for the finalists. It is a great achievement that they have been chosen and I look forward to seeing how they perform each challenge.

Watch the show on the Cell C Reality App on Sunday nights at 7pm, and find out who could be the next SuzelleDIY or Ofentse Mwase.

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