The Obsession with Online Fame

Reporter: Catherine Legault

There’s a strange obsession with being someone.
Everyone has dreamed of being a movie star someday, but the Internet has made it possible for people to be well known for all kinds of things. The TV show, The Doctors, ran a segment on a woman who has thousands of Instagram followers for having a large behind.
On Facebook, people looking for Internet fame make pages dedicated to themselves where they post content, often pictures and videos, in the hopes of accumulating likes for their pages
Users of Tumblr, the micro-blogging website, follow a similar protocol and often make blogs dedicated to certain television shows, or blogs where they exclusively post fan-produced works such as fanfics, in the hopes of attracting followers.
People tweet celebrities, both of Hollywood-fame and Internet-fame, in the hopes of attracting followers.
There’s an enormous list of social media websites whose users follow this trend of posting content in the hopes of attracting people. That’s the frightening thought.
Young adults aren’t just basing their self-worth on appearance now, but also on how many people think they’re interesting and beautiful.
This is the wrong thing to use to support ones self-worth, and the websites themselves aren’t helping. Take Youtube for example, where people with massive numbers of subscribers make Youtube their full-time job and receive thousands of dollars from the website.
For example, Michelle Phan, a Youtube user who posts beauty videos, had 5, 791, 310 subscribers as of Feb. 12. Thanks to this Youtube fame, last year she just released her own make-up line, em cosmetics, through L’Oreal Paris.
People are striving to replicate this kind of fame and become obsessed with getting numbers by any means. Facebook makes it possible to buy promotional ad space for your page. People are even buying likes on Facebook and Twitter followers to make themselves seem more prominent and attract more people.
Metro in the UK released an article online that outlined this procedure. One business offers 500 likes for the equivalent $18.18.
This isn’t good for society. I’ve know people who brag about their number of followers, or consider themselves better than others because he or she has more followers or likes than another person. But there’s a downside. On Michelle Phan’s Instagram photos there are comments about plastic surgery, how she’s fake, and other similar insults.
Instead of developing our sense of self-worth through the accomplishments of hard work and pride in ourselves for getting good grades, mastering a new skill, or helping someone, we’re depending on numbers and the opinions of total strangers.
While it doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad thing, people without a strong sense of self will be deeply affected by the cyber-bullying that comes hand-in-hand with fame.
It’s time to stop caring about likes and time to start paying attention to the real people who actually like us.