Pizza + Social Media = Perfect Recipe

If you have not seen the viral video of the “pizza delivery guy” that had his tip taken back, check it out! When I first saw the video, it was on the owner’s (Frank Correiro) YouTube account and was posted – or given permission to post – by the owner of the car dealership (1). When I first saw the video, which was titled, “Irate Pizza Delivery Guy”, I was a bit confused about what the pizza guy had done wrong. I, eventually, stopped watching as I thought the Pizza Guy (Jarrid Tansey) was rather professional and assumed the video was mistitled. The employees of the car dealership seemed more irate. After doing some sleuthing, I found that the original title was, “This is my eyes and ears when I’m out of the office, click here to find out more”(2) , and was actually posted by the owner of the Massachusetts car dealership to his IP camera website. The funny thing is that the owner thought his employees were in the right and that the pizza delivery guy had ripped them off. They didn’t stop there. They called the boss of Jarrid and had him written up, as well. It seemed like the car dealership wanted blood for a simple miscommunication. Instead, the social media beast woke up and wanted to give a little write-up to the car dealership.
There is speculation that the original intent for the video was to prove a point about how Jarrid was wrong, however, it is self-evident that this backfired. As I was reading some of the comments on the video, I noticed a guy had posted Michael Ramos Facebook page. Being the curious guy that I am, I clicked on it and was surprised by what I read. Michael had posted on his page that he and the employees were right to treat Jarrid in such a manner. He had thought that he found a safe place to post his comments, but as it turns out, his own friends had turned against him; as of now, he has taken that post down and has supplemented a religious meme. Since then, Michael, as well as Lucy (the green hat girl), have almost completely locked up their social media platforms. Now this is an interesting point. It took me only 3 minutes to find out that Michael Ramos has a teenage daughter, he is single, he is “religious”, he has a job or better yet, we know where he works. We also know he is late on his child support and we can find out what his educational background is. The list could go on. My point is that Michael Ramos’s life has been completely altered because of this video. He now has people calling him, his family, and his place of work to yell at him and tell him how terrible he is. This level of vulnerability affects Lucy, Gary (General Manager), and Frank as well. I think it is safe to say that social media has effectively destroyed a few lives (for now) and most likely put a business – out of business. This is the dark side of social media, but let us look at the lighter side, shall we?
Jarrid has had his life turned around. He passively obtained internet fame, made more money from a single tip than anyone else in the world, and unknowingly brought awareness to service based industry. Granted, his life is an open book now, but in a lighter sense, because the social community is backing him up.
What is it that drives social media in a situation like this? First, people love to find a purpose in all things; in this case, Jarrid “The Pizza Guy” was being treated unfairly. Second, people like to find fault and formulate opinions; if these opinions have a commonality between other media users, then there is purpose. Having these two reasons, you can find a perfect recipe for a viral video and a social media frenzy. With that being said, I feel that the social media community is constantly hungry for something new, something controversial, and it will always be waiting for the next viral item to devour.
-D.J.

1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/15/us/car-dealership-pizza-guy/
2. rapscallion discovered the video and posted it to LiveLeak. He writes a summary about how he discovered the video.
3. Main Video: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=030_1421237536
4. Written up statement by Jarrid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84924572&v=NPCOOoixuTs&x-yt-ts=1422411861&feature=player_embedded#t=10

5. Michael Ramos Interview

6. Lucy (green hat girl) Interview

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