Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture by Kelli S. Burns
Kelli S. Burns’ book deals with the development from celebrity culture from then to now, and the impact of social media. In former decades, a celebrity would be a person who had made great achievements, for example in music or theatre, or had established his or her own name or a brand, e.g. The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra or Marilyn Monroe. Even though one could imagine they enjoyed the economic stability and the positive side effects of being famous, it was not the entire goal. Usually people with a certain talent lived and worked for that, and not only the status of it. In current culture one does not necessarily have to achieve something specific in the arts, sports or in the movie industry. The many talent programs and reality shows, such as Big Brother, Survivor and Simple Life established a platform for people to be able to become famous – for simply being famous.
In general, the access to news and the social media has naturally helped increasing the focus on celebrity culture. The only thing that creates a border between the fan and the celebrity is usually a phone or a computer. In the advanced technological time which we live in, we are only a few clicks away from instant gossip, private photos of a celebrity, or news of what they are doing. There are even created websites where one can upload a photo of where a celebrity was last spotted, so the private person may be lucky enough to see them. For paparazzis this ‘tracking system’ is of course another example of how this celebrity culture is an economic industry in itself.
There is no doubt that one must not underestimate the power of social media. As private persons the consumers are able to decide what is considered trendy and sensational news. The things we share, like or repost naturally reach out to more people. One could say that we are actually doing the celebrities a favour. Through social media, the celebrity is able to send a message to the receiver, which the consumers can share with their friends on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and if the message is interesting, scandalous or sensational enough, this news sensation will be the talk of the day.
A very interesting and informal theoretical books which is easy to approach, understand and great to use for academic purposes.