Let’s just call this a downfall to becoming Internet famous.
YouTube is crawling with them… Instagram has more and more coming out every day… Twitter has them–waiting to be discovered by the public eye. What am I talking about? The Millennial equivalent of the Internet elite–the Internet Famous.
Old concept; new platform–as the saying goes. In the heyday before the Internet was the platform of choice, we simply referred to these people as “famous for no reason”. Paris Hilton, for example, who launched an empire from a television show and a leaked sex tape. Kim Kardashian, who built up her household name from a leaked sex tape, as well. These men and women have stood atop the ruins of personal disaster to claim fame and fortune. Today, it’s so much easier to create fame. All you need is a magnetic personality, a camera, and pressing the “upload” button. Extra points for a scandal of some sort, and you’re done.
Or so it would seem.
Nowadays, the allure of Internet fame has shifted the way we view success. Younger people are more susceptible to the false reality that Internet fame projects – after all, we have been hard-wired for instant gratification. Having a few thousand followers seems to be a much more appealing career path than studying in college and graduate school for any other career, but even so, Internet fame isn’t all that it seems. With so much attention to this new genre, the rules are constantly changing and it’s getting harder and harder to reach that elusive success as time wears on.
YouTube used to be synonymous with crank videos, or capturing hilarious moments in record time. But soon, it was used for completely different purposes. Bloggers, looking for a fresh way to connect with their viewers, created “vlogs” that cover virtually any topic. From automotives to beauty to gaming, popular “gurus” post their videos to hundreds or thousand of awaiting viewers, watching what they will be putting up next.
But even still, the YouTube guru life is nothing to look at with jealousy. Sure getting free products and having your other social media accounts flooded with praise and encouragement may seem appealing, but there is the pressure to come up with frequent, entertaining content to keep your growing fan base happy. There’s also the pressure to add other social media accounts – some you may not even want to use–just to keep up with the connection to your viewers. And of course, there is your personal brand development. Whether it’s through a blog or another kind of website, increasing your online presence is a must. Gone are the ideas of privacy and a personal life–the higher in popularity one becomes, the less of some sort of privacy they are allowed to hold onto.
So weighing the good and the bad, is it even worth venturing to become Internet famous? Just my opinion, but I don’t believe it is worth it. Just like anything else, too much of a good thing will become sour. Internet presence is good–our world is shifting to becoming more technologically-geared anyway–but becoming consumed with it will lead to nothing but unhappiness. Instead, we should strive to be the best in any of our given fields, whatever they might be, and focus on that. If fame catches up to us then, of course embrace it and use it for benevolent purposes. But if not… well, there are worse things in the world.