Tag Archives: Odyssey

‘The Face’ of Social Media

21 Feb

Blankenship, Charles and I doing 'The Face'

It was my first blind date, well not exactly blind for me since I’ve seen his face a few times before. Jackson Blankenship, a freshman ATO studying engineering, met me Sunday at Starbucks. As I waited for him to arrive I drank my coffee nervously. Would he bring ‘the face’ with him?  Should I be making the face so he knows whom I am? I went with the casual handshake approach. Jackson doesn’t drink coffee so I suggested he get Passion tea with lemonade. He warned me if he hated it he would throw my composition notebook at the wall and leave. He liked it, so we proceeded. Blankenship, a Tuscaloosa native, has been making the face for years and decided to take it to the courts at the Ole Miss game on Feb. 4. The giant face gained media attention and may be the best distraction in college basketball. Blankenship used his Twitter account (@jack_____enship) to gain media attention and followers. The YouTube video of him with his ‘face’ now has over 1 million views!  However, the Ole Miss game wasn’t his first public appearance; Blankenship displayed the face during a high school trip to New York City in April 2010 behind the The Today Show’s Al Roker doing the weather. Blankenship tweeted the picture a few days ago and shortly thereafter was emailed by an NBC producer.

Blankenship behind Al Roker in April 2010

Blankenship is heading to New York City once again but this time to be on The Today Show, which brought upon the sudden realization that I was hanging out with a celebrity. “I’m packing the face in checked luggage, it’s more important than my clothes,” said Blankenship. A random fact about the face, also known as Charles, is that his favorite artist is Soulja Boy.

After talking for a while ‘Closing Time’ by Semisonic began playing boisterously in Starbucks which we enjoyed until we realized it was our cue to leave. Things were going so well he invited me back to his dorm to meet the face. We headed over to Bryant Hall and found the face safely in his bed, Blankenship cuddles it before bed and then the face sleeps on the wall. But, sometimes he oddly wakes up next to it. After meeting Charles I  was put through a face workshop. First, flare your nose. Next, frown. Thirdly, raise your eyebrows. And lastly, breathe in deeply and open your eyes really wide. The face did not come naturally to me but Blankenship was very encouraging. We hung out with the face for a while, talents of Charles include staring contests and poker. Charles hasn’t really been much of an asset to Blankenship in the dating department. “Charles found a girlfriend through me but so far he has not found me one,” said Blankenship.

Blankenship is a very intelligent young man. He has used social media to his advantage, gaining followers and subscribers. Even landing him a trip to New York City! It just shows how creativity and social media combined is an excellent way to get noticed. I think he has a very bright future ahead (a head…get it?) of him.

 

Update: Since posting this blog Jack Blankenship has continued to gain fame. After appearing on the Today Show Jack and his face caught the attention of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon producers. Jack also appeared on the Conan O’Brien show. THis past week the Crimson White, the University of Alabama’s student newspaper, posted a video of Jack Blankenship running for President of UA. Check it out here, trust me it’s hilarious.