Picture this. MrBeast, a YouTube influencer with a subscriber count that could replace every star in the Milky Way, is buying up a whole neighborhood in his hometown of Greenville, North Carolina. Imagine the Monopoly man, but with trendy clothes and a knack for over-the-top internet challenges.
MrBeast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, is known for his gargantuan giveaways. While he planted 20 million trees, he recently leveled up by purchasing an entire neighborhood.
Why, you may ask? To house his staff, family, and friends.
But wait, there’s more. Just like any viral sensation worth its salt, this MrBeast’s move has its fair share of likes, retweets, and, of course, backlash. Some folks see it as a savvy strategy, cutting down commute times for his team while enhancing the sense of community. Others? Not so much, saying it’s like something out of a Netflix drama with cult undertones.
Former resident Aaron Bowden found himself in a hard bargain with MrBeast before selling his home. Quite the story to tell at neighborhood barbecues, right? Well, unless MrBeast has bought the barbecue as well.
Meanwhile, MrBeast’s fans are busy on another crusade, aiming to oust Khaby Lame and crown MrBeast as the TikTok king. Yes, we live in a world where social media stardom is as fiercely contested as the Iron Throne.
Back to the neighborhood saga, our protagonist defended himself on Twitter, arguing his real estate ventures were just another notch on his “helping people” belt. Understandably, some critics disagree, citing concerns about work-life balance, power dynamics, and the precedent this sets.
Yet, MrBeast’s influence is far from waning. Elon Musk, defended MrBeast’s philanthropy. MrBeast’s generosity isn’t without its critics, though. Recently, he copped flak for providing cataract surgery for 1,000 people and gifting 20,000 pairs of shoes to students in South Africa. Some calling it “charity porn.”
While these gestures are charitable in nature, some argue they’re simply band-aid solutions to deep-seated societal issues. MrBeast, however, seems unfazed. He once remarked, “Twitter – Rich people should help others with their money. Me – Okay, I’ll use my money to help people and I promise to give away all my money before I die. Every single penny. Twitter – MrBeast bad.”
In the end, we’re left wondering – what’s next for MrBeast? Buying a whole country for his followers? Launching his own Mars colony with Elon Musk? Time will tell. What’s undeniable, however, is the extraordinary power and influence wielded by such internet personalities in today’s society, and the amount of power they gain for no reason.
Let’s hope the MrBeasts of the world use their powers for creation of healthy systems, rather than just to gain TikTok followers. After all, actions speak louder than retweets. Or, in the case of influencers, perhaps the two go hand in hand.
So, maybe it’s time to pause, reflect and ask ourselves: what does this mean for our future? And more importantly, would we want to live in a neighborhood or house owned by our employer so we can be more productive and have balance?