Social media offers chance at fame


Apps have allowed people to gain popularity and show off their talents in the public eye. Justin Bieber, “Boonk Gang” and Shawn Mendes are represented as the “kings” of their respective social media platforms.

Unlike in the past, almost everyone today has access to social media on their smartphones. While most people only use platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook to connect with friends or scroll through their news feeds, there are individuals who have used social media as a platform to become famous.

Singer-songwriter Justin Bieber was only 12 years old when his homemade singing videos got him discovered on YouTube by a talent manager in 2008. Just a year later, Bieber was signed to record label Island Def Jam Recordings and came out with several hit songs as part of his debut EP, My World.

Bieber’s story is just one of many that demonstrate the opportunity available to the most recent generations. Generation Z has grown up in an age where individuals can showcase their unique abilities and passions to the world through social media. By garnering likes, shares and follows, that person can rise to fame and popularity for what they like to do, whether it’s singing, dancing, comedy or anything else.

When Generation X was growing up, however, people were forced to achieve fame the more traditional way. An aspiring actor, for example, would have to move to either Hollywood or New York City in order to pursue a career in the film industry; rarely an agent or company will seek out their next movie star with an invitation. If lucky, the individual might be placed in a small role in a film or TV production and from there work their way to the top. Although this arduous path to fame is still realistic today, more people are taking the social media route instead.

What makes achieving fame through social media easier is that there are more modern and unconventional titles for fame. On Instagram, 21-year-old John Robert Hill Jr., more commonly known as “Boonk Gang,” is a self-proclaimed public figure who films himself breaking the rules. His reckless behavior is shown through various stunts and pranks that sometimes get him arrested. Although much of his activity is somewhat frowned upon, his shenanigans have been a great money making tool so far and have made him relevant enough to start a rapping career.

Some argue that people who call themselves “social media personalities” have no real talent or ability. Unlike movie stars or singers, they were not born with any special feature they rely on for fame. Instead, they rely on their hunger for fame and their personalities to achieve their status. Regardless of their actual skills, this generation of social media stars has a significant influence on today’s youth.

Kids today are growing up with social media in their developmental years and are exposed to whatever is posted online by these social media celebrities. They are given instant and unlimited access to see the everyday lives of their idols on their phones and tablets and are sometimes able to interact with them online and meet them in person.

Famous media stars such as Logan Paul, Liza Koshy and the Dolan Twins are in the driving seat to either positively or negatively impact millions of kids. They are able to engage the youth for their entertaining and relatable content, but sometimes are also prone to making mistakes.

Logan Paul, for example, has been scrutinized for several of his actions, including a time where he vlogged a dead body in a Japanese forest known for its suicide rate. Although he came out and apologized, it still created serious backlash and affected his following. Whenever a social media star does something controversial, everyone has the ability to see it.

Young children are constantly watching these celebrities, so they have a strong influence over the actions of their fans. Unlike a teacher or guardian, kids might be more receptive to the actions and advice of these beloved stars, which makes it even more crucial that these influencers do the right thing, or at least spread the right messages. Social media stars are the modern day role models of the younger generations.