Social Media and its change to fame


Andy Nguyen, Managing Editor

Before the rise of social media, being a celebrity was narrowly defined to what the celebrities’ occupation was. Whether the celebrity was a famous singer, dancer, or movie star, the definition of “fame” seemed to be narrowly defined. However, over the past decade, social media platforms have been redefining fame. What used to be only famed A-List movie stars and Top 100 singers is now turning into content creators posting their content on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
“It’s crazy how easy it is to become famous these days,” said Mahnoor Siddiqui, a senior at Neshaminy High School. “All you have to do is press upload on YouTube or Twitter and hope your content is entertaining enough to draw a crowd.” Justin Bieber is just one of many examples of people that started posting videos to YouTube for fun. In 2008, Bieber posted a video of him singing to YouTube. Eventually, Usher Raymond heard one of Bieber’s videos and decided to mentor Bieber; today he is considered one of the world’s biggest pop stars.
On Twitter, many people have carved out places for themselves and their fanbases. “Twitter is the first app I open when I wake up and the last app I have open before I sleep,” said Katie Lawlor, a sophomore at Neshaminy High School. Kyle Ayers, a comedian, found his way to fame on the website. Within the span of five days, Ayers gained over 26,000 followers simply from throwing together a few comedic tweets about a breakup he was witnessing in real life. “There are so many people that have become famous just from tweeting 280 characters every day,” said Lawlor, “Look at accounts like @brothernature. He got over 1 million followers just from posting videos of him feeding animals.”
From one minute tutorials to breathtaking photography, Instagram has become a platform for those interested in all types of content. Many photographers have gained a large following from posting their pictures to the app. Nic and Nat, @sneakymommies on Instagram, have gained over 6,000 followers just from posting daily pictures. However, they do not believe they are famous; instead, they consider themselves “influencers”. According to Urban Dictionary, a social media influencer is, “a person with a substantial following on the internet, owning a heavy influence on today’s internet-obsessed youth.”
The lives of celebrities before the dawn of social media have changed as a result of the social media craze. Before, celebrities never had the burden of posting to social media to keep their fan base updated. However, today many celebrities post to their Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat daily. “I can’t imagine being a celebrity today,” said Jackie Bauerle, a sophomore at Neshaminy High School. “I would hate to have to watch what I post 24/7, but still post daily to keep everyone in the know and to communicate with my fans consistently.”