Home » Reasonably true » The illusion of online celebrity

The illusion of online celebrity

A couple of quotes to ponder:

A politician riding on a wave of tweets feels as if the nation is cheering his every word, even when the nation is actually reading the sports page while a select splinter of hard-core supporters manically pound away on their smartphones. A hundred thousand people cheering you on in the social media feels like a mass movement. But this is a gigantic country.
— Gail Collins

…behavior online is too easily taken as a mirror of reality when it is nothing of the sort. What seems to be the voice of the masses is the voice of a self-appointed few, magnified and distorted.
— David Streitfeld

The reality is, even if you have 10,000 followers on Word Press, Twitter, Facebook, or God knows what else, most people have never heard of you.

We desperately need to get over ourselves.

18 thoughts on “The illusion of online celebrity

    • Exactly. People get impressed with the fact that it’s online, and thus potentially available to anyone world wide. I think of my blogs as written to a small group of peers, a cyber-salon, in a way. Fortunately, I have no big numbers to be tempted by.

  1. HI! This post is interesting to me as it echoes on my sentiments in a piece I wrote a few posts back. Here it is:

    Which brings me to the issue about how some bloggers lose interest when they fail to get the Freshly Pressed seal. I still don’t get some bloggers’ hankering to win the nod of the WordPress peeps. Somebody has to enlighten me as to what’s really the big deal in getting that kind of attention. Will the blogger get paid? Will he be able to procure a contract with a publishing giant for the “recognition?” Will he even be handed out a choco chip cookie for it? Aside from losing the privilege to blog in peace, it looks like replying to identical comments over and over again from various bloggers who turn up from nowhere is agonizing. What’s more, those bloggers who flock to Freshly Pressed pages as one-time visitors – are totally beyond my comprehension. Aren’t they aware they’re pretty much zombie-like in their mass clicking of the Like button and making uniform comments, only to disappear – never to be seen again – on the FP’d blogger’s very next entry? Worse, they seem to not even have read the prized article. No wonder a huge chunk of the FPressed beneficiaries closed shop within a few months. They must have bumped their heads somewhere and had that precious Aha moment to want to start all over again.

    It’s good to have found your blog. Nice to meet you.

  2. Mikels, this is an important topic and I am glad to have found this as I am currently working on a related piece. I will say that I both agree and disagree with what you have said here (lol yes that is possible).

  3. One of my college professors told us that you could have a book on the bestseller list, then spend the rest of your life knocking on doors, trying to find one person who’s read it, or even heard of it. My wife and I just got back from Japan, where we once again visited huge cities filled with people who have complete lives — and have no idea who we are. One of the benefits of travel, for me, is the reminder that I’m just one person out of seven billion.

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