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Celebrity Culture Essay

1435 words - 6 pages

Celebrity Culture Has Taken Over Our Lives with Reality Television, YouTube and Social Media
Michael Van Gaasbeck
Excelsior College

Celebrity Culture Has Taken Over Our Lives with Reality Television, YouTube and Social Media
The top news of the day no longer involves wars, government issues or natural disasters. More often then not when you sign onto the internet, your home page is filled with celebrity gossip or the latest viral video of someone’s pet doing something funny. Whether you like it or not the celebrity culture has consumed our lives. We buy things because someone famous told us to, we watch something because the hottest stars are in it, and we cant wait to hear about the ...view middle of the document...

From “Survivor” to “American Idol” there is a genre for everyone’s interest. This type of television has created the idea of instant celebrity. Countless ordinary people have auditioned for the various shows in the hopes of becoming the next big thing. There have been a few success stories but as Brian Brady, a talent booker for the casts of “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” says, “It’s a letdown 99 percent of the time for most people.” But this has in no way slowed our hunger for Reality TV and the many personalities that we get to meet and watch every week.
Our hunger for reality TV has led us to adopt many of the interpersonal behaviors the characters portray. One such aspect is nondirected self-disclosure. Disclosure during interpersonal communication is traditionally characterized by personalism, as it is directed at specific others. However, self-disclosure portrayed in RTV is typically nondirected, as participants share thoughts and feelings in a variety of ways to groups of recipients(Stephanone, 2009). We see this type of disclosure every time we log onto Facebook or Twitter, where thoughts and pictures are shared with anyone approved to view them. This type of disclosure has led to the popularity of blogs, social networking sites and video sites like YouTube. RTV has helped to create a culture that rewards the public performance of private thoughts and emotions (Stephanone, 2009).
The idea of sharing videos with others was one of the main ideas behind the creation of YouTube in 2005. One reason reported in the media, is a direct result of our desire for celebrity gossip. During the 2004 SuperBowl there was a dressing mishap involving Janet Jackson and later that year the Indian Ocean tsunami. It is reported that one of the founders of YouTube had difficulty locating video of either incident online and this led to the idea of a video sharing site (Hopkins, 2006). YouTube has grown into a multibillion dollar company with some staggering stats in regards to users and views. According to almost 5 billion videos are viewed everyday. YouTube has 1.3 billion users that upload 300 hours of video every minute. With accessibility to that many viewers at any given time, every one of us has the ability to achieve what Andy Warhol quoted as our “15 minutes of fame”.
There is big business in YouTube as well. Businesses also realize the exposure that YouTube provides and advertising pays millions to both YouTube and the uploaders of the videos. Users create channels, and then have people subscribe to their channel to watch their videos. So in a sense, they are creating their own television network where they become the main celebrity. Now if your channel gets enough viewers, companies pay to advertise on your channel and the more views your videos get, the more money you make. This seems very similar to network television where viewers translate into profits.
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