Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Do celebrities’ use of social media detract from its main purpose?
Celebrities Influencing Twitter
Celebrities have a lot of power and influence within and amongst their publics. They implement and utilize this power through social media use, fundraising, promoting, career-building etc. The uses of social media involve engaging in conversation for the sake of interest and connection. For celebrities it is especially hard to build and maintain these connections and conversations. They cannot quite connect and engage with others in the same way most “ordinary” people can.
Through social media they are able to provide wisdom and advice and display insight into their lives, but not necessarily connect with all of their followers on the same level. It is not for a lack of trying in most cases; however, realistically it is impossible for celebrities using forms of social media, to monitor their pages well. It is especially hard with the use of Twitter.
Influence has been the most popular way of differentiating people on twitter. Influence is simply seen as popularity, which is measured on Twitter by total number of followers.
John Mayer for example follows 86 people on Twitter, while over 3 million follow him. He cannot possibly have conversations with each and every one of his followers. His fans are listening to him, but he's talking at them, not necessarily with them. The same can be said for some of Twitter’s top celebrity tweeters like MC Hammer, Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears and Shaquille O’Neal.
Despite the fact that celebrities use of social media may go against the traditional meaning intended, its use does allow inspiration and life changing opportunities for some sprung out of power and influence.
Sarah Killen’s recent fame came courtesy of newest celebrity tweeter Conan O’brien, and has literally managed to change her life overnight. His decision to choose her as his one person to follow on Twitter, catapulted her popularity within minutes of his announcement. It is amazing how “celebrity/influence” can be used as means to alter lives through use of social media.
The video below indicates just how much Sarah Killen's life has changed since Conan O'Brien decided to endorse her.
Twitter's blowing up around the world- not just for celebrities!!