Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Facebook Celebrity

I guess, most of us have tried to imagine how the life of a celebrity would be. The stardom, the recognition, people jostling with each other to catch a glimpse, rushing to get an autograph and the various other things that come with being a celebrity. It is ofcourse restricted to a fortunate (for lack of a better word) few.

For the rest of the unfortunate (again for the lack of a better word) many, having vicarious experiences while day dreaming or reading magazines and newspapers is the only last resort. It looks like, if there is a God somewhere or of some type he did listen to the voices of the unfortunate many. Out of no where comes a Harvard Uni student and builds an App that would change the lives of most of the unfortunate many and challenge the status of the fortunate few. Yes I am talking about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. I don't find it surprising at all that Mark was majoring in Computer Science and Psychology when attending the University. He definitely understood the psyche of his target audience and developed something that catered to the inadequacy of the unfortunate many,

Facebook is going great guns, for most of us, the day is not complete without paying few visits to the site. For some, Facebook is THE work for which they come to office for and they do the other job just to sustain their THE work. Some we notice suffering from an Obsessive Compulsive Behavior (OCB) of sharing photographs  no matter what they do. I will bet half my salary (peanuts as it may be) on saying that sales of SLR cameras and the associated lenses have never been as good as it is now after the advent of Facebook. In a way it seems to have made people realise their dormant talent and also this incessant desire to share it with people. Silently all this has created something that definitely hasn't gone unnoticed but most of the time goes unmentioned. It has created something called a Facebook Celebrity.

The Facebook Celebrity (FBC) is not as much of a person as it is a feeling. It is attached to the number of LIKES or COMMENTS received on a post or an album or a photograph or a status change. Ofcourse there is a gender bias. Posts or Photographs of Ladies tend to see a stampede of people rushing to hit the Like button or comment, Posts or Photographs of Gents sometimes don't tend to find much of an audience (not even a fly). Ofcourse there is a status bias, Posts or Photographs of Sr Managers in any organization witnesses another stampede of subordinates and colleagues trying to outdo each other in innovative comments apart from hitting the Like button. I am still not sure if this has started influencing the annual performance review nonetheless it is a phenomenon to be observed. So what this has created is that feeling of being a celebrity or knowing what does it feel like to be a celebrity; where every move and every act is watched by many. The beautify of FBC is that it could be anyone of us, I am sure many of us have sensed this feeling and know that it is very democratic and allows anyone to be have that feeling.

As with many other things, this FBC  thing is not without it's own pitfalls or repercussions. It is nothing different than the highs and lows stars see linked with their performances in their respective profession. People have reported psychological disorders linked to responses on their Facebook posts, some have reported severe depression when their postings don't get any likes or not as many likes as they expected there to be, some have reported sleepless nights when a profile picture change didn't evoke any response and were tempted to take botox. It has blurred the lines of private and public. Private boozing sessions at a friends place is now meant to be public knowledge and photographs published all over the place with elan are a norm, or a silent dinner with family is meant to be public knowledge and probably the food doesn't digest well unless some pics landup on the Facebook site. Such is the entrapment of a FBC.

Nonetheless it has definitely done one thing it has, in a way, brought the unfortunate many at par with the fortunate few and has made it a 'passing the ball' game as far as the FBC feeling is concerned. Yes the fortunate few still continue to get millions of views but the unfortunate many with hundreds or thousands of views don't feel any less important. It is definitely also removing the way society views certain professions and bringing them at par with the respected others, though the paychecks are not in a hurry to level themselves out, nonetheless the bias to some extent is going away. So I think the FBC phenomenon is here to say inspite of the many pitfalls it has and make a STAR out of all of us.

Three Cheers to FBC

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3 Comments:

At October 10, 2012 at 8:17 AM , Blogger Unnikrishnan S Menon said...

A perspective well seen from your end. Many points that needs to be thought about by the many few who now lives on this await that when he/she would be the most recognized person. It's indeed a common truth that Facebook has become a platform for many folks who would like to showcase their small budding interest and talent to the world, when otherwise it would have been a real tedious and effort full one (like in the past). Addiction it has also become, as the crave to get the best scores is what is been the motto now.!

It's a little surprising to me also curious to know where they the reason's why you chose to take your leg back from FB.? Cause I know you never ran behind for numbers or fame, was not all that an active person to get addicted too, yet still you chose to stay out! There could reasons for your personal or otherwise, it's just something that interested me in knowing.

It's a good writeup Mate!!

 
At October 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM , Blogger Nilanjana said...

Well analysed and portrayed.The concept of being a FBC is interesting and true in some cases to a great extent. FB is actually sneaking its way up the priority list in the lives of many.Is it good,bad,ugly? No idea. Probably if we segregate the population in the Fortunate and Unfortunate categories as you mentioned, it would have two aspects :)

 
At December 1, 2012 at 5:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raja,

Interesting post.. In the same breath I guess its interesting to see the growth of apps like Whatsapp which offer PMs a la yahoo messenger of the old ... bringing privacy back into peoples' lives... although it still maintains the social web like a FB

Neena (Natarajan)

 

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The Facebook Celebrity

I guess, most of us have tried to imagine how the life of a celebrity would be. The stardom, the recognition, people jostling with each other to catch a glimpse, rushing to get an autograph and the various other things that come with being a celebrity. It is ofcourse restricted to a fortunate (for lack of a better word) few.

For the rest of the unfortunate (again for the lack of a better word) many, having vicarious experiences while day dreaming or reading magazines and newspapers is the only last resort. It looks like, if there is a God somewhere or of some type he did listen to the voices of the unfortunate many. Out of no where comes a Harvard Uni student and builds an App that would change the lives of most of the unfortunate many and challenge the status of the fortunate few. Yes I am talking about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. I don't find it surprising at all that Mark was majoring in Computer Science and Psychology when attending the University. He definitely understood the psyche of his target audience and developed something that catered to the inadequacy of the unfortunate many,

Facebook is going great guns, for most of us, the day is not complete without paying few visits to the site. For some, Facebook is THE work for which they come to office for and they do the other job just to sustain their THE work. Some we notice suffering from an Obsessive Compulsive Behavior (OCB) of sharing photographs  no matter what they do. I will bet half my salary (peanuts as it may be) on saying that sales of SLR cameras and the associated lenses have never been as good as it is now after the advent of Facebook. In a way it seems to have made people realise their dormant talent and also this incessant desire to share it with people. Silently all this has created something that definitely hasn't gone unnoticed but most of the time goes unmentioned. It has created something called a Facebook Celebrity.

The Facebook Celebrity (FBC) is not as much of a person as it is a feeling. It is attached to the number of LIKES or COMMENTS received on a post or an album or a photograph or a status change. Ofcourse there is a gender bias. Posts or Photographs of Ladies tend to see a stampede of people rushing to hit the Like button or comment, Posts or Photographs of Gents sometimes don't tend to find much of an audience (not even a fly). Ofcourse there is a status bias, Posts or Photographs of Sr Managers in any organization witnesses another stampede of subordinates and colleagues trying to outdo each other in innovative comments apart from hitting the Like button. I am still not sure if this has started influencing the annual performance review nonetheless it is a phenomenon to be observed. So what this has created is that feeling of being a celebrity or knowing what does it feel like to be a celebrity; where every move and every act is watched by many. The beautify of FBC is that it could be anyone of us, I am sure many of us have sensed this feeling and know that it is very democratic and allows anyone to be have that feeling.

As with many other things, this FBC  thing is not without it's own pitfalls or repercussions. It is nothing different than the highs and lows stars see linked with their performances in their respective profession. People have reported psychological disorders linked to responses on their Facebook posts, some have reported severe depression when their postings don't get any likes or not as many likes as they expected there to be, some have reported sleepless nights when a profile picture change didn't evoke any response and were tempted to take botox. It has blurred the lines of private and public. Private boozing sessions at a friends place is now meant to be public knowledge and photographs published all over the place with elan are a norm, or a silent dinner with family is meant to be public knowledge and probably the food doesn't digest well unless some pics landup on the Facebook site. Such is the entrapment of a FBC.

Nonetheless it has definitely done one thing it has, in a way, brought the unfortunate many at par with the fortunate few and has made it a 'passing the ball' game as far as the FBC feeling is concerned. Yes the fortunate few still continue to get millions of views but the unfortunate many with hundreds or thousands of views don't feel any less important. It is definitely also removing the way society views certain professions and bringing them at par with the respected others, though the paychecks are not in a hurry to level themselves out, nonetheless the bias to some extent is going away. So I think the FBC phenomenon is here to say inspite of the many pitfalls it has and make a STAR out of all of us.

Three Cheers to FBC

Labels: