Social Media: Where Everyone Knows Someone They’ve Never Met.
I was on Instagram this morning while working out, just minding my own business. Well then again, who goes on Instagram to mind their own business? Everyone is on there to mind someone else’s business. As I scrolled through my feed of interviews, and videos, I saw a common theme: people giving their opinion of people they’ve NEVER met. I have a few favorite shows on Netflix that I really enjoy watching. I like watching the interviews of the actors and actresses of those shows, regarding the material from the show. In many of the posts I noticed that people make speculations about people’s personal life, lifestyle, sexual orientation, their love life, their kinks, their likes, and dislikes, and their general disposition. I read a myriad of comments talking about how nice a particular actor was, although they NEVER met the man. Whether he’s nice or not is based entirely upon information that you have read or seen online. Whatever pictures that you have seen online, or in a magazine, have been chosen by that person and their team of PR people. You only see what they allow you to see. On any social media platform, those people know that they will have their pictures taken, videos shot, and their likeness posted all about. So, you saw your favorite celebrity pet a zebra, for example, and now you think he loves zebras. How do you know that he didn’t go ahead and hunt that zebra afterwards? You don’t know. You weren’t there.
The only people that know these celebrities are people in their family. Unless you have lived with someone, you don’t know a single thing about them. Are you their mother? Father? A caregiver? A daughter of this person? A son of this person? Are you the family pet? Then you don’t know them. There are people who see reality tv and think it’s real. Remember, that too, is scripted. Also, they are aware that the cameras are there, so they are obviously only saying what they want to be heard by the viewer. Thirdly, the videos are heavily edited to fit into the frame of the show’s schedule and the advertising story that they want to convey to the viewer. At its core, reality tv and social media is just a buffet of commercials for celebrities and corporations. This is the reason why when you are watching your favorite celebrity in interviews, the questions sound the same after a while, because their team of PR people have approved a given set of questions!
There is nothing wrong with liking and enjoying someone’s craft, but remember not to blur the line between the character and the artist. As an example, I enjoyed Christian Bale in his portrayal of Bruce Wayne as Batman, and Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. But do I claim to personally know Christian Bale, as a human being? NO. He may be a lovely human being, he may not. The point is that I do not know him personally, I only admire and enjoy his work. Seeing your favorite celebrity on social media and believing that they are a good or bad person, would be like me thinking that Christian Bale fights crime in his spare time, and deeply cares about the moral fabric of society, just because he played Batman in a movie.
At the end of the day, we all need to remember to separate the character from the individual.