Digital world, virtual followers

The idea of being a celebrity is now shifted to the number of views and followers
Digital world, virtual followers
"People blatantly share everything about their life or turn into circus jokers to entertain the audience." [Representational Image]Mapixel [Creative Commons]

There were days when people used to be fans of celebrities, especially from the entertainment industry. And celebrities used to enjoy substantial amount of attention.

If they happened to walk around the immediate vicinity, people would readily acknowledge their presence. Soon they would find themselves amid a crazy and rowdy crowd asking for an autograph. The idea behind being famous was hard to achieve.

Not everyone would get a chance to be popular. Being famous was only restricted to legends and leaders. To reach the pinnacle of one’s career involved a lot of sweat and toil. Nothing would be achieved without solemnity and exceptional hard work.

Every eye would raise in awe to appreciate their talent. Prizes and awards were given to recognize their contributions in their area of expertise. At present, the government conducts award ceremonies and prize distribution convocations to acknowledge such talents.

Contrary to past, now legends and stars exist in every nook and corner. The Internet has given wings to all such legends and stars. Talent of any kind is showcased on the internet. Take for example any public platform like YouTube, people flood it with different types of videos on any topic.

Internet is packed with lots of such social media platforms where video sharing is allowed for the public. Initially, people would share videos full of ideas and information related to numerous things. A new wave has overloaded such social media with a variety of videos depicting strange talks or weird personal videos.

People blatantly share everything about their life or turn into circus jokers to entertain the audience. This shift of crowdsourcing to enable people to create their content has opened opportunities for people to become independent.

However, the downside of allowing every kind of content on such platforms has proliferated people to becoming self-obsessed. An evolution in the entertainment industry has reached a level of notoriety, for such brazen crowd that out of either self-obsession or any other material profit has forced them to upload obscene and nonsensical content while following the pattern of outspoken trend ingrained in their new generation.

More than being enthusiastic about connecting with their friends, acquaintances, and other people in social gatherings, the youngsters are mostly interested to know the views they get on their videos and to know how many followers they have. Some of them may be trend followers and some trendsetters. Moreover, there are some known as “influencers” who have built their reputation for their knowledge or expertise. However, there are other people as well who are famous because of the irrelevant and weird stuff they share, which is liked by people at large.

The idea of being a celebrity is now shifted to the number of views and followers. In this rush for gaining popularity, I have seen some young girls use social media platforms to create content that can be loosely termed soft porn. Their trend on one such platform is nothing more than saying a word or performing an action. If the content gets noticed, it becomes a hit, and the rest of the world follows it.

To cut a long story short, everyone is a celebrity and everyone is a legend. Even celebrities are slowly and steadily stooping down to such unexpected levels so that people start following them. A common person who is uploading a video shot without any sense into it has more followers in his channel than a celebrity who has put his life on the line to achieve something great in his life.

Celebrities are trying hard to grab the attention of viewers. They have even started following these trends so that they can get more views and followers. So next time you see somebody getting famous on the internet don’t feel envious because they might be just the boy and girl next door. So, the idea of being famous is not at bay but close to our fingertips.

People rush into posting content without any decency and discretion involved in it which without any doubt refers to transgression of our established ethics and morals of our society. I had a notion that the vast majority of Kashmiris do not follow along mindlessly with such content but to my dismay, the internet has fed into their sheeple mentality as it has done for the rest of the people.

Showing off one’s personal life or making weird faces in videos earn a lot of accolades whereas information about some serious stuff that relates to adding value to your intellectual and mental spirit may have equal or fewer likes on the internet. It is an alarming signal for our evolving generation to wake up and take the right path towards mental and personal development.

We cannot stop the influencers from influencing us but we can influence our children towards the right guidance and help them take a step closer to their goals. Posting content online for entertainment purposes to make some material profit can hold true for people who are in desperate conditions. People in general watch or follow weird trends because of some reasons behind them.

The fear of missing out on (FOMO) which refers to the fear of losing a relationship or being left out of the conversation at school or work can be one of the reasons, (HelpGuide.org on social and mental health) behind this mental illness.

Whatsoever could be the reason no trend should have that influence to delude into believing that the meaningless and absurd videos, or posts, are to be followed or watched at one’s discretion.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

Greater Kashmir
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