Where to begin. I should start by saying that after scouring the internet for a sober photograph of this well-spoken, intelligent, beautiful young lady – or one without those little tweety-bird fingers pointed skyward – I settled on this one. It is not my intention to humiliate her further. Instead I would like to encourage all of you to watch her eye-opening interview with Emmy Award-winning Juju Chang on ABC’s 20/20 last night.
A brief overview would be: 22 year old Sam gets drunk, a lot, and tweets about it from her public Twitter account. On an August 2013 afternoon, Sam is arrested for public intoxication at a University of Iowa football game and for trying to enter the field at Kinnick Stadium. After being taken into custody, Sam realizes she still has her phone and tweets:
“Just went to jail #yolo — Samantha Goudie (@Vodka_samm) August 31, 2013
Blew a .341 in jail — Samantha Goudie (@Vodka_samm) August 31, 2013
I’m going to get .341 tattooed on me because its so epic — Samantha Goudie (@Vodka_samm) August 31, 2013” via New York Post.
According to Tyler Kingkade’s recent Huff Post College article, the University of Iowa Senior, majoring in Political Science, has made the Dean’s List on many occasions. I have chosen to highlight this article because it is thoughtfully written.
During Samantha’s interview with 20/20, she said several things that caught my attention and had me doing some tweeting of my own @JenCannPro. She said “it never crossed her mind” that her tweets could go viral. When Juju Chang said she knew following her now infamous arrest and tweets bragging about her BAC (blood alcohol level), that Sam had been approached to do promotions, liquor ads, t-shirt ads, etc., I thought, great, are we really going to make this girl into a celebrity for being young and drunk? No! Samantha’s response was music to my ears:
“Yeah, I immediately didn’t want to do any of that… because if I did that, then it would be promoting who I was portrayed as and that’s not who I am.” She went on to say, “I was really depressed. I just wanted to hide.”
Unfortunately, and as Juju pointed out, “…there’s no place to hide on the internet.” I could tell you the rest of the story, but I would rather have you go and watch the short video and see for yourself!
I will not judge Samantha, because I was once 22 and, like many young people, found myself in some precarious and potentially very embarrassing situations involving alcohol. Thank you Technical Gods for not inventing smart phones and social media back then! And while I’m at it, thank you to the Guardian Angels who were watching over me! Oy.
What I would, however, be curious to know is who pays Samantha’s phone bill and whether or not either of her parents were ever curious about her online activities. I have to believe if either of them had seen what their daughter was putting out there for the all the world to see prior to August 31, 2013 at the cyber-intersection of Twitter and Vine, they would have taken some kind of action.
The idea of educating and starting real conversations between kids and parents is exactly why I’ve written “@Sophie Takes A #Selfie”.
Samantha, if you happen to read this, I’m glad to hear you learned from your experience and thank you for having the courage to own your actions and talk about it. Wishing you all the best!
To my tens of readers: Thank you for stopping by.