How social media changed the concept of fame

Annie Hilst, North Staff Writer

During the twenty-first century, fame has developed a new definition due to the rise of social media platforms.  While teenagers and young adults experience success and online stardom, it has become clear that one can achieve prosperity without admirable qualities or social heroism.  The internet has allowed people to post outrageous videos or pictures so they can receive overwhelming amounts of likes. Surprisingly, this technique is working, and it is leading to online popularity for many.  So, how did celebrity culture change?

In this age of easily accessible communications, the word “fame” has been redefined.  Notoriety is no longer reserved for politicians, singers, athletes, or actors. Now, fame is simply stated as being recognized among a group of individuals online. 

Celebrities have always been a crucial impact on one’s imagination, and it began forming during ancient Greek times.  Gods and demigods were perceived as the divine influences of spirituality that affected generations. For example, Hercules and Zeus are exceedingly well-known heroic figures that were significant in the ancient Roman era.  However, their powerful ascendancy was a tall-tale, but their stories still promoted them as a higher presence.

As time progresses through the centuries, celebrities metamorphosed into political figures, poets, and musicians in the nineteenth century and twentieth century.  Yet when the conversion of the television created a sensational reaction in the world, the word “celebrity” changed into movie stars that are embedded into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

The Internet revolutionizing throughout the decades and giving one an opportunity to participate in a virtual culture has produced a dramatic change into what an ordinary person can attain: Today, social media such as Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter gives people an opportunity to achieve mainstream success.  But, has this alteration in modern society help diminish the exclusiveness in the fame world? The answer is yes and no. Social media has allowed one to showcase their talent and ambition. Justin Bieber’s popularity is an example of becoming well-known through online presence.

However, this powerful motive to gain adoration online has been abused.  Individuals now can prosper on platforms by posting lip-syncing videos of various songs they enjoy.  Teenagers on the app TikTok are prone to receiving millions of views over a simple video that required no effort.  In the era of technology, many that partake in social media only value the entertainment quality and promote people who do not express hard work and dedication.  

Danielle Bregoli, a modern influencer that gained her stardom over her viral “cash me outside, how bow dah” reaction is a perfect example of how modern society glamorizes poor behavior.  The internet erupted to the catchphrase and gave Bregoli millions of followers on social media platforms as well.

Through the 24-hour news coverage and ongoing journalism, it has given us an abundant amount of information about celebrities.  In earlier generations, fans knew little about their favorite celebrity and their personal life. Now, prominent individuals do not shy away to express their opinion and distinctive experiences in the online world.  Journalism has recently captured doltish stories of what celebrities eat every day or what their relationship status is. For example, Emma Watson proclaimed herself as “self-partnered” instead of single,  and countless amounts of articles were written to poke fun at her statement.  Instead of famous people gaining the level of respect for followers of the media, they are simply used only for one’s own amusement.

Social media is a crucial aspect of our lives.  It has now been created for people to receive fame for those who inspire in becoming mainstream.  Celebrity status has been redefined for generations; however, this new wave of “internet personalities” shows how accessible stardom is in the modern era.

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