It’s been six months since my most recent previous post in the Brushing Fame category here. Much of that has been that my economic situation excludes such luxuries as attending live performances (or even first-run movies, for that matter). At the same time, I have continued to interact with various persons of note on Twitter and other social media – see All Atwitter for example. My Twitter account (@bgryphon) has a list labeled Interactive Celebs (as well another list of less-interactive folk). I tend to avoid the term “celeb” for people of actual fame unless there’s limited space; I view mere celebrity easier to acquire, and thus significantly less noteworthy.
I have also been fortunate to have more private exchanges with some such folk, although I’m certainly not ‘best buds’ (or should I say BFFs for younger readers?) with any. Rather, exchanging messages of support, birthday greetings, contact information for a group I’m connected with, etc. I don’t say this to dismiss the pleasure I get from such interactions, but to recognize the limits and not over-state such connections.
My fascination with persons of fame is a mix of what I suspect are common factors; we see these folks everywhere, watch or listen to their creations, wish them success (or in darker moments, spectacular failure), escape the limitations of our current situation fantasizing about what we think their lives are like, etc. At the same time, much of my personal interest is based on lessons Mom taught us kids growing up, and how important Whose Line? and other forms of comedy have been in my life. Yes, my Twitter feed is filled with comics. Some use their accounts just to promote shows or try out material, but other people of note use Twitter to engage the world in broader terms; personal, political, practical.
Such interactions are a wonderful change from a time when such ‘personages’ were idolized only from afar. And one of benefits of our modern world’s extensive inter-connectedness. Much of our technology seems designed only to benefit corporations and governments; efficiency, profit, control being valued while the cost to our humanity ignored.
Cost and benefit – a balancing act we all (well, except for the most narcissistic amongst us) engage in. Sharing our truth, ‘being real’ and making connections while preserving whatever level of privacy and protection we feel we need. The double-edged sword of social media; being more engaged while staying safe. Being more connected, more informed, more entertained… but not falling into the trap of thinking only in 15 second sound bites. At first, the fear was that Twitter’s 140 character limit would increase superficiality; I’m pleased that many users have taken up the challenge of being succinct or playful with that restriction.