How many times have you tweeted your favorite celebrity in hopes that they’d reply to you? How of you have retweeted a tweet in order to win a $50 Starbucks gift card? The new culture of social media has made just about everything more accessible, even celebrities. In the PBS Frontline documentary Generation Like, YouTube star Tyler Oakley states that his fans talk to him like they’re best friends. This most likely has to do with the intimacy social media gives our interaction with others, especially celebrities. There’s no way you could know what brand of shampoo Audrey Hepburn used; Elvis wasn’t going to use your selfie in his music video if you tweeted it to him.
Generation Like outlines how us, the consumers and target audiences, make decisions because of social media and make decisions for social media. Some of us spend more time choosing a filter for our instagram than choosing an outfit to wear daily. Social media is giving this generation a way to express their identity in ways that we couldn’t before. We’re branding ourselves with every picture we upload.
If we upload pictures of sunsets, trees, and mountain bikes, an outdoor sporting goods store may reach out to you. Some critics say that this is an example of companies using our data to exploit us, however if you’re interested in these things, wouldn’t you want to know more information about it? Companies can be sneaky about it, and, yes, it can come off as creepy. However, the world is becoming more tailored to our convenience. Everything is at our fingertips.
Social media making everything more accessible also makes fame more accessible. Those who have over a million followers have gotten countless people TV and Movie parts, as well as enough money to move out to California and support their families. Many people now enjoy having the internet as their boss. One could say that it’s another channel people can use to follow their dreams. Instead of going to auditions, people are social networking with producers and uploading their work on YouTube.
If you’re interested in diving into this subject at a panel with two professors here, you’re in luck! Cindy Vincent, a professor of communications and John McArdle, professor of business will be leading a discussion about social media and “Generation Like” on Monday, October 20 from 11-1 in Marsh 210.
Do you like your data being used to tailor advertisements for you? How OBSESSED with social media are you, from a scale of 1-10. Comment below!