Celebrities: Now, More Reachable Than Ever — Thanks, Twitter!

by on September 17, 2013

in Entertainment

Twitter LogoFamous musicians and other celebrities want to talk to you. Yes, you! Celebrities are joining the real world in droves, thanks to social media sites such as Vine, Instagram and Twitter. They’re discovering that not every fan is a creepy stalker, and they’re having conversations in real (or almost real) time with regular people every day. For their part, fans are discovering their favorite stars aren’t as unreachable as they thought, and that most of them are pretty down-to-earth, decent people. The celebrity/fan divide isn’t nearly as large as it once was, thanks to social media, and interactions among them will never be the same.

Fan Expectations

Any fan can potentially reach out to their favorite celebrity today, as long as they have a high-speed Internet connection through a trust worthy provider (Cutting edge, high speed options are available at places like where you can compare bundles). Celebrities aren’t just faces on TV, in the movies or on album art anymore. Today’s fans expect their favorite celebrities to be online and to interact with them. Celebrities who avoid online contact with fans are now seen as aloof, snobbish and haughty.

Fans don’t necessarily expect a direct response when they contact a celebrity online, though they are happy if it happens. An example of this is when author Steve Garfield recently attended a Tears for Fears concert in the Bahamas. According to NewsGeek, he shot a video of the band at their concert and wanted to put it online, but wasn’t sure if it would be okay, due to numerous take-down notices from record companies regarding other people posting similar videos.

According to Garfield in the interview with News-Geek.com, he reached out to Curt Smith (the lead singer of Tears for Fears) on Twitter, asking him if it was okay to put the video on YouTube. Much to Garfield’s surprise, Smith Tweeted back to him very quickly giving his permission. This is the type of celebrity/fan interaction that goes on every day on social media. It’s something that would have been almost unthinkable even 10 years ago. The whole celebrity/fan dynamic is much closer and more personal now than it has ever been.

Getting Real

Celebrities used to be mysterious, almost otherworldly creatures who were set entirely apart from the real world that the rest of us humans live in. Their concerns were beyond the rest of ours, and their lives were envisioned by fans as being filled with nothing but parties, great romances and high glamour. Every word a celebrity said was carefully controlled through a publicist who manages that celebrity’s image. Now, celebrities are on their own in the Wild West of the Internet.

The true personalities of celebrities come across online in ways the publicists of old would have never allowed, UK newspaper The Guardian says. Whether it’s a comment made to a fan or another celebrity on Twitter, a personal photo with a funny caption shared on Instagram, or a video of a moment with their family shared on Vine, we’re getting to see the real people behind the personas. Fans respond to that with intense loyalty toward their favorite stars.

However, being human sometimes means having a bad day and saying the wrong thing. When we have moments like these, they are usually quickly forgotten by others, and everyone moves on. When it happens to a celebrity on a public website such as Twitter or Instagram, it can become national news, a controversy or even a scandal that damages that celebrity’s reputation. Many public apologies have had to be issued by celebrities simply because of a very human slip of the tongue.

A recent public apology issued on Twitter came from recording artist Ke$ha, whose song, “Die Young,” was pulled from radio stations after the Sandy Hook shootings. Her Twitter apology stated she was sorry for anyone affected by the tragedy and that she understood her song was now inappropriate to be played. Justin Bieber also took to Twitter to publicize his phone apology to former president Bill Clinton. After a video was leaked of Bieber urinating in a mop bucket and yelling profanities about Clinton, he called the former president personally to apologize. After the phone call, he thanked the president through a Tweet, as Vanity Fair reported.

Blatant Self-Promotion

The bigger a celebrity is, the more likely he or she is to use social media to promote their latest project, build hype for an upcoming concert or personal appearance, and to promote the products of the companies who sponsor them. According to ABC News, Bieber is a notorious self-promoter, with more than 40 million Twitter followers he bombards with his opinions, photos and links to new videos or music many times each day.

People have more control over who becomes a celebrity than entertainment industry executives do. Grassroots efforts from fans can elevate an obscure entertainer to a famous one. Formerly unknown people have gotten book deals, talk show appearances and even their own TV shows this way, such as Lucas Cruikshank. According to his biography on KidzWorld.com, this normal, average kid went from making funny videos on YouTube, to becoming a Nickelodeon star with his own TV show and series of TV movies.

This guest post by:

Isabella Graham

Bella is an entertainment journalist who enjoys writing about EDM and popular music.

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