The power of social media has definitely changed since it first came on the scene. Two trends that have become increasingly popular because of social media are living a purposely public life and the ability to get paid through a social media. Most teenagers are living incredibly public lives. They have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and maybe even a blog or YouTube channel. There are those that are so successful at living a purposely public life that they get paid for it. For example people are making money for writing about their life on a blog or making videos for YouTube. Neither of these would have been possible without social media and now “normal” people are becoming internet celebrities through the documentation of their life. Who would have imagined that people could get paid to document their lives? There are YouTuber channels and Vine accounts with millions of subscribers. Their viewers make celebrities out of them. There are now conventions both in the United States and abroad where Youtubers and fans meet up (I’m sure other internet celebrities have smaller scale meet ups with their fan base). Thousands of avid YouTube watchers travel to Florida and LA to see their idolized YouTuber at two of the conventions in the States. When a YouTuber gets a decent following/viewership they can apply to become a partner. They then get a cut of the money earned through advertisements. This is roughly $7 per 1000 views. These means that average people that play videogames, sing or just talk about their life have become millionaires just by using social media. There are similar set ups for other social media incomes. An example of this new use of an older social media is the Shaytards YouTube channel. This is a family that has been posting daily vlogs – video diaries talking about their family – for five years. The family has over 2 million subscribers to their YouTube channel. The power of this new use of YouTube has made them into a sort of celebrity. They have done interviews on TV, have brand endorsements and recently Makers Studios – the company they are partners with – was sold to Disney for $500 million. By living their mostly ordinary life online, this family of seven has completely changed the course of their life. Now that is pretty amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCNsQ-lLQV0 Because of the possible success found on social media, more people are living a purposely public life in the hopes of breaking into internet stardom. As an avid YouTube watcher I’ve seen several of the channels I watch be rocketed into popularity, going from thousands of subscribers to millions. You can see this desire to be “famous” in many social media platforms. From the newer apps, such as Vine and Instagram to older sites such as YouTube. This generation loves social media. They are both consumers and contributors to the this need for recognition. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing. I have complete adoration for the YouTubers that put hours into coming up with a concept for a video, recording and then editing their videos. Their dedication deserves to become a job that they get paid for.
My only question is what’s going to happen when everyone wants to be so famous? Will this form of celebrity change us for the better or for the worse?