Social media

The insidious role of social media in the downfall of the powerful Sydney couple

A month ago, only a handful of people in the well-heeled Sydney suburb really knew who Charlie and Ellie Aitken were – the ambitious power couple having carved out a fairly low media profile for themselves in a city where ego and money go hand in hand.

Today, thanks in no small part to the power of social media and a seemingly perfect offering of luxury vacations, star-studded glamor parties, and an endless stream of vivid designer-brand posts, the Aitkens have become stars of the full-fledged media. Their marriage breakdown received the kind of treatment in the mainstream media once reserved for Tom and Nicole, Charles and Diana, or Brad and Angelina.

Ellie and Charlie Aitken at the Exclusive Gold 2019 Dinner in Sydney.Credit:Chloe paul

Certainly, there were elements of their story that helped fuel it, like the discovery – via a baby monitor – that silver man Charlie Aitken was having an affair with his wife’s former best friend Hollie. Nasser, the wife of one of its biggest investors. , millionaire heir to Sydney pub Chris Nasser.

But there’s another part of that story: The role of social media and their normalization of unbridled narcissism and shameless bragging played in the couple’s social downfall.

With so much of Aitken’s privacy forming ‘content’ in the public domain through platforms like Instagram, there’s no denying that social media has helped fuel the fascination of less affluent ‘normal’ website readers. information, scandalous Daily mail to this one, who made his way through this vulgar story of high society misfortunes by the hundreds of thousands.

And when those messages get downright mean, like they did when Ellie chose to reveal her private text messages with former best friend Hollie, it’s no surprise that everything explodes so dramatically.

Mentor: Ellie Aitken with her mentor, friend and passionate Instagram colleague, Julie Bishop.

Mentor: Ellie Aitken with her mentor, friend and passionate Instagram colleague, Julie Bishop.Credit:Instagram

But what does this say about our social standards thanks to the artifice of Instagram and Facebook? Have we really gotten so meaningless that we rate ourselves by how many famous friends or glamorous parties we can post on social media? In the sphere of the Aitkens, it certainly looks like it.

I too have been the victim of this less uplifting aspect of social media behavior – although in my defense posting on such platforms is first and foremost an extension of my job, which has always been about sharing information. in the public domain. My job is also to provide commentary, analysis, context, and insight – things that are sorely lacking in the most complacent timelines.