Home > Branding, Social Media > Does Social Media Give us a Taste of the Celebrity Life?

Does Social Media Give us a Taste of the Celebrity Life?


fishbowlIs it just me or does participating in social media make you feel a little self conscious?  Now that I’m blogging again and on Facebook and Twittering, I feel like people are looking at me.  And they are.

They comment on my blog, they add me as a friend, they join my business page and they follow me on Twitter.

In the past week, I have questioned myself about photos I’ve published and even changed the way I’ve said certain things because I know people are watching.

As a society we are becoming more transparent in many of our dealings and expect businesses and politicians to do the same thing.  Technology is allowing us to share information so much easier than before and it’s easy to watch.  I guess this is a little taste of what it’s like to be a celebrity with the stalkerazzi outside your door.

It’s a two way street though.  I had two meetings last week with three different people and I knew what they all looked like before I met them.  They also knew what I looked like.

Media is making niche celebrities out of just about anybody.  There’s a TV show about repossesors and car salesmen, truck drivers and policemen.  We won’t leave this woman alone because of the number of children she has and this guy got famous for telling us to leave this woman alone.

Technological advances make it easier and easier for media to be distributed which is creating more and more niche celebrities.  Pat Kitano has a great presentation on media and transparency I just saw where he coined the phrase “micro-celebrity.”  From a privacy standpoint, that’s what all social media users are, with the audience for the information being friends, acquaintences and business contacts.

The one difference between a real celebrity and a social media user is we have a lot of control of our image and information.  I don’t have to put my photo online.  I don’t have to reveal my birthdate.  I don’t have to reveal my address or phone number.  As a social media user, you can be as private as you want to be.  No stalkerazzi are camping out your front door.

If you make your living in media or on the Internet it’s another story.  You want your name, your message, your brand out in public and you want people to talk about it.

Personally, I want to share things with my friends online.  Many of my friends don’t live locally.  On the other hand things I would share with my friends I don’t necessarily want business contacts or potential employers to see.

Social media is about balance and discretion.  I’ve decided I want to develop my Facebook business page for that purpose.  I suppose I should send that link to anyone I turn down for my friend page.  Many people are “pushing” professional connections to LinkedIn or Twitter instead of friending them on Facebook.  That’s a good strategy too.

The question of being too transparent online is a popular topic.  If you’re a casual social media user, the question is simpler to answer – set your privacy levels and don’t friend andybody you don’t know.  Stranger danger, hello?

For online business people the question is harder to answer.  Here are my thoughts on the question:

1. Decide up front how to manage friends vs. contacts. Friends obviously go on Facebook.  Do you send contacts to LinkedIn or Twitter or a Facebook fan page/business page with higher security?

2. Decide what you want to share. Do you want strangers to have photos of your kids, your house, your pet?  Do you want them to know your address or phone number?  My experience is a phone number is ok.  Even the most virulent Internet bullies won’t call you.  They’ll email you, but they won’t call you.  My address?  I don’t really want to give that up, so I’ll be getting a P.O. box for business.

3.  Think before you tweet, post or share. Who’s going to see what you say?  Is it linked somewhere else?  Who sees “somewhere else?”  I have two business pages on Facebook.  One is generic and one is for this business.  They both link to my Twitter account.  I have to time my updates so I don’t look like I’m spamming my Twitter followers.  Both also update to my Facebook friends, so I have the same concern.  Both also show up on this blog.  So if I post something I think is just going to my Facebook business page members, I have to realize it will show up here.  Think!

4.  Script your message. Just like reality TV isn’t real, neither is everything you see on the Internet.  Ultimately you control your message.  If you’ve got a job interview you’re excited about, do you tell everyone?  Or do you say you’re excited about an important meeting?  Do you share all the details of your chronic illness, or do you simply say you’re not feeling too good today?  How your audience interprets your status is dependent on how you present it.  Always be positive in public, because you’re a micro-celebrity.  What would your fans think if you weren’t?

  1. October 5, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I guess at a certain point we have to ask ourselves what are we afraid of people finding out or knowing. Technically we shouldn’t have to work about what other people think as we are the controller of our future.

    I understand when it comes to work or your boss seeing and reading something disturbing but besides that I don’t think you need to care. There will always be some idiot that says something rude or inconsiderate but this is what we have to over come.

    I don’t think its social media I think its technology as you stated in the latter part of your article. Times are changing and with everything on the web 2.0 powered by us it will be controlled by us and therefore we select the starts and celebrities.

    Even if it’s just for a day lol Great read it really makes you think…

    Like

    • seobyswaby
      October 5, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Brian,

      It’s all pretty benign until you find yourself on the wrong side of an issue that has a passionate audience. Then your critics go from being a few vocal people here and there to a much bigger number that will look for all your Internet breadcrumbs and use it against you. It’s not pretty.

      Other than that, transparency is awesome!

      Like

      • October 5, 2009 at 10:24 am

        I can understand your point. I guess it really depends on what blogging niche one is in and that can help determine if they want to allow for transparency or not. Luckily the topics I blog about are mainly points of view with no real; definition of an answer.

        I separate work and blogging as much as I can. I definitely don’t speak about it anyways.

        Like

  2. October 7, 2009 at 3:30 am

    thanks a lot

    Like

  3. December 24, 2009 at 4:12 am

    I like this post, well written and good info…sometimes we slip and think only our “friends” have access.

    I’m glad I found this on Blog Engage!

    Like

  1. October 5, 2009 at 2:31 am
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