It’s sad seeing the ravages of cancer unfolding before your very eyes. That is what we’ve been getting a bit of lately as social media star Jamvhille “Jam” Sebastian shares his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer via his Facebook page with his millions of followers. Sebastian along with girlfriend Paolinne Michelle Liggayu form the YouTube sensation “Jamich”. The Jamich pair are so-called “pure” social media celebrities having accumulated their vast following entirely on the Net. Their fame was built upon cheesy videos that appealed to lovestruck and lovelorn teenagers alike.But just how much publicity is too much? The fans’ reaction to what has been described as an over-exposure of Jam’s cancer plight has been mixed. Some have made calls to respect the ailing star’s privacy. But by some accounts, Jam has actually been asking for the attention. On live TV his mother Maricar Sebastian reportedly appealed to boxing champ Manny Pacquiao to visit her son who she described as a big fan. She also appealed to Netizens to continue praying for Jam who, she says, has expressed a desire to continue his fight to survive his illness and not surrender to it.
So what’s the verdict? Too much publicity or not. Readers of popular Pinoy celebrity news site Philippine Entertainment Portal overwhelmingly voted too much in an online poll issued by the site.
To be fair, the images of a sick Jam circulating all over the Net are quite confronting. For a couple who rose to fame on the back of their youthful good looks and vitality and feel-good messages and imagery, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if this dark patch in their story puts off a chunk of their fan base. I mean, a lot of fans flocked to JaMich to escape their mundane realities. Now, all of a sudden, what used to be fans’ haven for escapism had become starker than the lives of the escapers.
That’s the thing with Facebook, actually, that I’ve been noticing for sometime. Everyone’s a personal brander on Facebook, exhibiting their best foot forward and, in the vast majority of cases, keeping their dirty laundry behind the scenes. So on Facebook, everyone is seemingly a worldly traveller, habitués of trendy dining and drinking holes, and connoisseurs of fine gadgetry. Nobody posts stuff that makes their audience think Sux to be you, dude. Rather, everyone wants to come across as someone living the life you should be leading!
And to be fair, us lurkers do logon to check out the glitz and glamor of the posers and the real-deals alike. Both are equally interesting, the posers for their hilarious efforts to keep up and the real deals for the natural way they keep to or set the trend effortlessly!
Which brings us back to Jam Sebastian. When I think about what he is doing on Facebook, I recall the old poignant saying:
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry, and you cry alone.
Maybe the Jamich couple’s fans who are sticking it out with their ailing idol do deserve credit for debunking this old truism. Then again we really don’t track statistics on how much of the couple’s once formidable fan base has dropped off. Not exactly a worthwhile enough subject for hardcore research but something to think about just the same.
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