After I finished “Fangirling to the extreme – One Direction“, I started thinking about how the icons celebrities represent for us, the people at home, take a toll on how we view everything around us.
First of all, I feel like I have to make a clarification: many times I have met with the expression “we, the normal people”. I feel very awkward when that comes up. If they aren’t normal people, what are they, aliens? They’re just like you and me, just like your neighbour (if your neighbour is a creepy old man who likes smoking pipe and watching little kids play I deny everything I said). They eat food, they go dancing, they have cranky morning voices, sometimes they get bags under their eyes and open pores and what not.. and yes, they do go to the toilet. (Except Matt Damon, check this out! ) I refuse to believe they are different from me in these aspects – it’s just that they have a different platform to perform their job on. So, normal they are. Glad we settled that one out.
Now, going back to what I said: this is what celebrities do – they turn their life into a constant performance. It’s an act. They’re just as real, I’m not calling them fake. They love their families, they have feelings that can get hurt. But their efforts are towards a constant show – this is what we ask of them. We, the people at home, are the ones who turn celebrities into who they are because we’re the ones giving them attention. If the “icons” would just get attention from others in the same business, this whole movie-music-artistry thing would crash and burn. They need us, and in return we need them. Imagine how boring life would become without movies or music or concerts to go to. What would you do? Read all day long and listen to Beethoven when you jog? Do you imagine that as a better life than this one now? It’s not. There’s no diversity. Nowhere to choose from if your tastes are different.
Celebrities have to “be” someone, in the deepest meaning of the word. They have to “exist”. That’s what we read about in magazines and watch videos for. So we see their “existence”. We live our fantasies through them and open our minds to different ideas that way. We are dreamers through their movies, through their music. And we like them “up there”, on the imaginary pedestal they accepted, because humans have always needed the idea of “he’s better than me”, so they can aspire to it.
Now, this whole “celebrity” thing has turned into a franchise. It is not anymore the person alone, but the team behind it, the management schemes pulled off for the person itself. This is what’s sad about the life of a celebrity. They may just want to sing or act, but the moment they become succesful, they sign up for a whole other thing: press, interviews, photos, loss of privacy. When you are truly succesful in the domain, you have no life left. For a period, at least. Nothing is important forever and neither will they be, so at one point the fuss just goes away. But as long as they’re in the spotlight, it’s like they’ve given their acceptance.
So how do they get so succesful? How does someone become so big they need security guards when they go out for a nice stroll in the park? Which.. they don’t, because they’d need security guards.
The century before, this was harder. You had to either know someone, be someone already or become someone through luck, talent, ambition or all three options above. Now, it can be summarized in two words: social media.
It is the most powerful tool in 2013′s world.
No, seriously. If nuclear bombs wanted to destroy the world, they would need a Facebook Page for it, not an airplane. Hitler could’ve given his “kill them Jews” orders on his Twitter account, through a very cheeky tweet, and grammar Nazi’s would’ve probably attacked him. You don’t even need to ask about the Cold War – that could be easily won on Instagram.
Yes, it’s that bad. Presidents have Facebook now. Fuckin’ presidents.
And we’re okay with it. It, apparently, makes them more “human”, more reachable, we can relate to them more. The hell we can. How the fuck can you relate to Obama better if he has a Facebook page? He is the president of the USA and you’re a bussines accountant. Puhh-lease.
And it’s our making. It never would have gotten that big had we not chosen that. We wanted Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. And Flickr, and Pinterest, and Omegle. And websites. And this and that.
Now, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It can be very much a good thing or a zero. But it can also do harm.
And this is where it comes to the harsh reality – the ones most affected by social media are always the young ones. Kids. Your kid.
He’s growing up, right? He’s what, like, 9? What does he do all day? Goes to school, maybe to some sports practice afterwards.. then lunch, because his mother made him pizza. And then.. he watches TV. He has a computer, because you decided he should get familiar with the Internet and all that. Oh, and a smartphone, because he pleaded and cried for weeks to get one, after he saw all his friends had one. He picks that up and God knows what he does with it so much time, you don’t understand. All these weird-ass website names and all the socializing your kid does on Internet with his friends… You don’t understand why your kid doesn’t simply walk out the door, crosses the street and bangs on his best friend’s door and he chooses to Instant Message him.
You know what I did at 9 years old? I climbed a cherry tree in my bathing suit, until I reached the top, and I managed to fall from three m high on a carpet of nettles. In my bathing suit. And I rolled over. I fucking rolled over on the other side. I couldn’t move for hours and I cried so much because I was in pain. And then I laughed throughout my life of that moment – and I still do. You know what else I did at nine? Played tag. Hide and seek (more like hide and disappear for me). You know what I didn’t have at 9? A mobile phone. Or a computer. Sure, I had seen a computer and pressed a few keys here and there on that white thingie, but I didn’t know what that was.
I didn’t learn to read on an IPad, whilst checking my hundred long friend list on Facebook.
Yes, social media has this bad part. Some can tolerate it, and maybe even forget about the effects it has – but I can’t. I see it in my friends, in my class, on the street, in me. It takes advantage of human traits and inflicts damage back.
Celebrities have it worse than me, in my opinion. They are not only the cause of social media, but also their weapon. Without wishing it, they still are. It’s what public opinion wanted and we are attacked by it. You’re not as smart as x? Shame on you! Not as thin as y! You are disgusting!
This is the ugly face of social media.
As I said, though, there’s a good part to it. We can help people – donations, awareness, aid in different matters, world spread of vital information. Its possibilities are infinite and it has potential to change. Unfortunately, we seem to need/want it in trivial matters and in no way use it to change things on a massive scale.
I’m just sayin’, there’ll come a day when an earthquake alarm will get to you through a Tweet.
Yes. We will get there.