Opinion: I’m Shmacked: not worth the hype, the time or the money

Jimmy Miller

When I’m Shmacked came to Kent on Thursday night, expectations seemed high. Students were standing in a line that wrapped around Kent Stage for at least an hour before the event officially opened at 11 p.m. Naturally, those who were waiting were excited.

“I’m Shmacked is the best thing to happen to college,” said Garmai Matthew, senior business and Chinese major. “Nobody documents the fun side [of school]. I’m Shmacked […] highlights how much we enjoy our lives. Partying is what I like.”

During the event, the I’m Shmacked camera crew documents college students partying at its sponsored events. Alcohol was provided, albeit from Kent Stage and not “I’m Shmacked,” and general-admission tickets for the event Thursday sold for $20.

Footage is then put online for viewers around the world to see, and as the number of videos has grown, so has the company’s popularity. Likes for the I’m Shmacked Facebook page have exceeded 85,000, and its most popular video on YouTube, a party that took place at West Virginia University, has garnered more than 867,000 views.

Yet, the event was nothing more than the hype it received. Those who attended the event put on a show for cameras, and once the cameras shifted angles, they would return to standing around, uninterested.

“Honestly, college is what you make of it,” senior public relations major Felicia Ssempala said. “If it’s not fun, it’s your fault.”

It was not until approximately midnight when the event even came close to matching the hype it received— most likely, when the alcohol was setting in. Prior to that, those students that were in the front by the DJ stood around and waited for somebody to instigate the party, while others were texting friends and sitting down talking to each other.

In fact, the first student that entered the event ran into the theater with her arms up, stood bewildered for a moment, and then pulled out her phone and started texting as she quickly exited.

Students put on a production for cameras, acting as though the party was more intense than it actually was.

One group of males approached the camera lens, waved their arms and shouted, and then when the cameraman started to wander away, one of them pulled out his phone and the other two decided to sit down and drink their beer.

Similarly, a couple sat next to the front and waved their arms halfheartedly as the camera panned past them.

Most students seemed to crave the attention of the camera, even following the crew around as they walked.

“Hopefully, I’ll get a job after this,” said Zack Jones, freshman electronic media production major.

Essentially, the night proved to be nothing much more than a standard college party. Videos online make a viewer expect an entirely new experience with the I’m Shmacked tour, but those at the party likely left disappointed.

James Prusha, administrative lieutenant for the Kent Police Department, said prior to the event, he heard representatives from other cities say the event is not as big of a deal as the promoters of the video make it seem, and it appears Prusha was right.

However, that didn’t stop students from dreaming.

“I heard it’s a crazy [party] with some hot girls and music and dancing,” freshman exploratory major Davey Cajka said. “I hope [it is what I saw in the video].”

As I’m Shmacked packs up its bags and heads to the next campus, Kent State students likely are nursing a pounding head and already are looking to the video’s release — hoping to make their Internet debut.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].