How social networking made public vanity acceptable
At first I didn’t understand the point of Twitter. I’m not on Facebook and one main grievance I had with the site, is that people felt the need to update others on their casual thoughts and actions in their statuses.
Having assumed that Twitter was a glorified space for Facebook statuses, I was kindly informed that Twitter was a great way of generating traffic for my own work, and for that of the Indy’s blogs so it would be ludicrous not to get on board. So I signed up (with limited success, admittedly).
One thing that has come out of the site’s success, is that Twitter makes for easy news. The Daily Mail must hail the day that celebrities who had normally limited their public musings to restricted interviews on talk shows to promote some new release, took to the internet to share their every thought on a daily basis.
It seems that screen-grabbing a tweet from a celebrity now regularly makes headlines. While the “news” that Imogen Thomas thinks she needs to lose weight while heading out in freezing temperatures wearing a crop top is an extremely infuriating hypocrisy, it can be interesting to gain an insight into the minds of those who fill the papers, which is why Twitter is as successful as it is. So successful in fact, that even Facebook is introducing celebrity pages to allow their stage names.
So following the DM’s tradition of using tweets as news – here goes.
A twitbit from former nation’s sweetheart Cheryl Cole yesterday read:
“Yesss.! The album is DONE !!! *dancing all over the place* I’m Soooo HAPPY and EXCITED to share with you !! #CherylMusic on its way.. Booyaa”
Forget the humblebrag, there are no qualms at all making yourself a trending topic here.
Personally, I tweet many of my own articles, but also those of other writers (admittedly, mainly on the blogs), but would it be considered socially acceptable to end a tweet with #lauraswork? Yes, this is primarily because I have about a 10,000th of the followers that Cheryl has, but at what level of non-anonymity is it acceptable to third-person yourself and your talents?
This is not an attack on Cheryl by any means, that’s just one account I noticed the offence on. There are many others, including the aforementioned Imogen, who retweets compliments from followers. Celebs even pen cutesy names for their followers such as Lady Gaga’s ‘monsters’, Cheryl Cole’s ’soldiers’ and Tulisa’s ‘muffins’.
Movie stars have been thanking their fans for as long as the screens were silver, but before the internet was used as a medium to boast, stars still had agents telling them when to keep schtum.
Perhaps something could be said of the storyline to multi Bafta winning The Artist. Long gone are the days when our stars were glamorous and any desperate attempts to cling onto fame were kept behind closed dressing room doors. It seems that self-promotion has taken on a new level, where backgrounds of Twitter pages are filled with images of air-brushed pictures, and tweets are the place to remind everybody several times a day exactly why they should love you.
Not only is self-promotion more prevalent than ever, but as reality shows offer fast-track routes to fame, lucrative sponsorship deals then cement the public interest, and the number of followers shoot up. Celebrities have to keep themselves in the limelight and remind the fans why they were interested in the first place, so they can remain part of the media currency that is celebrity gossip.
Back in the noughties when MySpace was still popular and posting songs was a viable way to get into the public eye, it acted as a catalyst for the accomplishment of musicians, Lily Allen being the most prominent. But it didn’t feel like a place to brag, just to get your work out there with the hope that some people might just like it.
So at what level of fame is it acceptable to brush aside the social decency of modesty? How many of the 100 million plus users on Twitter do you need to get to follow you before you can hashtag yourself?
#iamamazingTagged in: amy childs, Celebrity, cheryl cole, facebook, social networking, twitter
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