Social media star Joey Salads reveals his surprising future aspirations

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If you have ever come across a viral video online that's a social experiment, chances are, it was made by Joey Salads.

The 22-year-old social media star first found his claim to fame on Vine, and took that feeling and ran with it. His first big, blowout successes came with prank videos that people went crazy over, and since then he's expanded to covering social experiments.

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His most recent viral success involved the conversations around public breastfeeding and how people and companies have handled the situations. His video was covered by sites like The Huffington Post, The Independent, Fox News, and more.

This weekend, at SXSW Salads participated in the Native.Digital Panel, all about social media and the future of video on the Internet, and we were there to catch up with him on all of his latest work. He revealed to us some pretty big aspirations he has beyond just viral video creation.

Check out our full interview with him below:

When did you first realize social would be a huge part of your career and your life?

It was when I started blowing up on Vine. Back then, I was working at a pizzeria, and as an ice cream truck man. But, I got my first brand deal for a Vine video, and I quit my jobs. Then, I dropped out of school as more deals kept coming in.

The reason why I quit my jobs and dropped out of school is that, when I was in 4th grade and YouTube just came out, I went on realized that this is exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to make YouTube videos. My friends and I would make dumb little videos, skits, and it was my dream to blow up on the Internet. It didn't happen until Vine came out. I was trying to grow up a little, I had told myself, you gotta stop, you're going to college –- stop making videos so I kind of gave up on it. But when Vine came out, I just did it for fun, and it blew up. So I took the ball with it and ran, and now I'm here.

Do you have a personal favorite social network – that you're on all the time?

I like YouTube and Facebook. All I like to do is make my videos and post them.

What made you decide to go the direction of pranks and social experiments in your videos, versus maybe sketch comedy or something else?

I started out doing sketches on Vine, but then I had a series called 'It's Bashin' Time' which was more of a prank series, and that's what blew up. So I decided to stick with the prank genre, Then one day I came up with a video idea where I abduct people's kids and get their reactions, and it turned into a social experiment. It showed how easy it was for a stranger to abduct someone's child.

That video blew up, it got a ton of views in the first day alone. So I knew I had to do more of those, so I kept doing the social experiment thing. So, then I was doing both pranks and social experiments. Now I'm trying to move to only doing social experiments.

Have you had any big social experiment pranks/fails?

Yeah plenty, you guys will just never see them. There are so many deleted scenes, I can't even think of them off the top of my head.

What are some of your biggest passions outside of social media?

I like business, and I've been getting into politics. I'm planning on eventually running for Mayor of New York City.

What's one of the most surprising things you've learned along the way, doing all of this?

I've learned that people love controversy. Older people, especially. On YouTube, It's a younger audience, and the controversy stuff doesn't hit as much. But if I put social experiment videos on Facebook it'll get a ton of views. I try to make videos for everybody –- younger people love prank videos, and older people love social experiments.

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Social media star Joey Salads reveals his surprising future aspirations
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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Actress Melanie Lynskey attends the premiere of 'Rainbow Time' during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Alamo Lamar D on March 13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jason Bollenbacher/Getty Images for SXSW)
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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Author Nelson George attends the Nelson George Keynote during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Vimeo on March 13, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)
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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Natasha Leggero speaks onstage at SXSW Comedy with Natasha Leggero during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at The North Door on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by JEALEX Photo/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Actors Ashley Wilkerson (L) and Thomas Q. Jones attend The Samsung Studio at SXSW 2016 on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Samsung)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Director of New Frontier Lab Programs at Sundance Institute Kamal Sinclair (L) and director Casey Neistat speak onstage during 'Breaking Barriers: How Content Will Accelerate VR and 360' at The Samsung Studio at SXSW 2016 on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Samsung)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Director Annie O'Neil, director of photography Todd Pinckney and director Jessica Lewis attend the World Premiere After-Party For 'Phil's Camino' At SXSW Film Festival 2016 at Zax Restaurant on March 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Halle Bailey of Chloe & Halle performs before the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Missy Elliot attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Sophia Bush (R) and Queen Latifa attend the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Missy Elliot (R) and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama attend the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Sophia Bush attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: Missy Elliot attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 16: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama attends the keynote address at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 17: Creator of Summer Camp Julia Pott attends the Cartoon Network: Disrupting with Post Its and Pencils panel during SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. 26003_004 (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Cartoon Network)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams performs at Music Is Universal presented by Marriott Rewards and Universal Music Group, during SXSW at the JW Marriott Austin on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Associate Product Manager at Pandora Kevin Kaiser and singer Kat Dahlia during the PANDORA Discovery Den SXSW signing up for AMPcast on March 17, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Pandora)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Musicians Page Burkum and Jack Torrey of the The Cactus Blossoms pose backstage during the PANDORA Discovery Den SXSW on March 17, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Pandora)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 17: Creator of Uncle Grandpa Pete Browngardt attends the Cartoon Network: Disrupting with Post Its and Pencils panel during SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. 26003_004 (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Cartoon Network)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Erin Davis (son of Miles Davis) serves on the 'Miles Ahead' panel Celebrating the Life & Legacy Of Internationally Renowned Music Icon Miles Davis On His 90th Anniversary at SXSW on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Vince Wilburn Jr. (nephew of Miles Davis) serves on the 'Miles Ahead' panel Celebrating Life & Legacy Of Internationally Renowned Music Icon Miles Davis On His 90th Anniversary on March 17, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
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