Celebrity, privacy and social media

Celebrities and social media appear to go hand in hand. For the most part as a millennial, or a ‘member’ of generation Z, if you don’t see what Taylor Swift had for lunch, or what Lady Gaga did over the weekend, it almost feels like you missed out on something important in the celebrity world.

The Kardashian/ Jenner clan are especially notorious for opening their lives to the public through their social media accounts, which is why when the youngest Jenner, Kylie seemed to drop off the face of the ‘social media world’ towards the end of 2017 fans descended into chaos.

Immediately there was a lot of speculation as to whether she was leaving social media completely, if she had been hacked and was unable to access her accounts, or that she was expecting a baby and wanted to hide it (although this was initially dismissed due to her siblings open-ness when having children). News reports were flying around trying to gain an insight into what had happened, or at the very least why it had happened.

As it was revealed in early February, she was in fact pregnant, and had already had her baby days earlier. In a post across her social media accounts, she wrote that this was ‘one journey she chose not to do in front of the world’- something a lot of her fans felt was ‘unfair’, simply because they were not a part of it.

It brings into question whether social media is actually beneficial, or detrimental to the lives of celebrities. As a basic human right we’re ‘allowed’ a certain amount of privacy in our lives, should celebrities not be allowed the same, or is it because they are in the eye of the public, especially on social media have they given up that right?

George Clooney provided an interesting insight to this in 2013 when he was quoted saying; "If you're famous, I don't — for the life of me — I don't understand why any famous person would ever be on Twitter. Why on God's green earth would you be on Twitter? Because first of all, the worst thing you can do is make yourself more available, right? Because you're going to be available to everybody. But also Twitter. So one drunken night, you come home and you've had two too many drinks and you're watching TV and somebody pisses you off, and you go 'Ehhhhh' and fight back. And you go to sleep, and you wake up in the morning and your career is over. Or you're an a------. Or all the things you might think in the quiet of your drunken evening are suddenly blasted around the entire world before you wake up."

Celebrities are people we look up to and often aspire to be like and social media has provided an insight into their world like never before. They can make or break their careers in an instant on screens right in front of our eyes, but blocking the public out of their lives when they have allowed them into it for so long can be a difficult, yet possible task as shown by Jenner.

On the other hand, social media is an amazing platform to promote yourself, change people’s opinions and build up a following. As the online platform gains popularity it becomes an ever increasingly important part of the media. You can create brand/ ‘person’ awareness, build a community or following and then better connect with such following. It also gives people and businesses that personal touch when speaking to the public.

Social media certainly has both positives and negatives for celebrities, it’s about finding that medium where they have the personal aspects of their lives, whilst also holding their following.

Written by Kennady Smith, 09/02/2018