My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Monday, December 14, 2015

What is a 'Social Media Star'?


     I was listening to the Marcus & Sandy morning show here on Star 101.3 FM in the SF Bay area  a few days ago.   They had a segment called "Second Date Update" where people call in to find out why a date went wrong and to see if there is any possibility of getting a second date with the person. You can listen to the short podcast here.

     The woman on the show, Teresa, didn't understand why the guy didn't call for a second date.  But when the show got a hold of the guy, he complained that Teresa was posting on Snapchat throughout the date.  What struck me about the whole conversation was when Teresa said, "I'm a social media Star!"  

     She said she felt compelled to let her followers know what she was doing at all times.  "This is my Job!" she said, indignantly.

     This got me thinking:  What constitutes being a 'Social Media Star'?  Is it having a huge number of followers?  Is it somehow monetizing your 'Brand'?  How many followers does it take to be classified as a SMT?  As I do not really have all that many followers, I know I am hardly a Social Media Star.  

     This got me to thinking about how many of us are dependent on social media to confirm our self-worth.  Confession time: I am as guilty as anyone of this.  I do constantly check to see how many followers I have on Twitter and how many people read my latest post on my blog.  I do get a thrill when lots of people comment on my writing and engage with me.  Why is that?

     I think in our busy world, it is easier to make online friends than actual, in person friendships.  Especially with Twitter and blogs (if you are careful not to get political) it's easy to be pleasant and have positive interactions online.  Does that mean I need to get out more and be with "real" people?   Yes it does.  But it also has enhanced my life substantially and helped me see that I can be an interesting person that others may want to hang out with.  So in that light, I have had an increase in self-esteem due to social media.  But I also need to not take social media too seriously.  Do I want to be a 'Social Media Star"?  No way.  But I am grateful for social media for helping me be less shy and for making me feel like people will listen when I have something to say.  For shy people such as myself, this is a huge help for me.

     What do you think of SMT's?  Do you aspire to be one?  Do you have a favorite SMT?  Let me know in the comments section.
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  1. I listened to the audiofile and that was just a hoot. "I'm a star!" My goodness, I wouldn't have gone on a second date with her either! I guess like with any celebrity, I can only appreciate those who have something meaningful and fun to say, PLUS (very important) don't act like they're more important than anyone else. I personally like Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, even though they're also both know for their regular acting jobs. I think Wil specifically stays very down-to-earth and I LOVE his Youtube Tabletop show :).

    I wouldn't want to necessarily be a 'star' myself either. It's more a feeling of being appreciated and, like you said, being listened to. Great post!

    1. Thank you so much! I didn't know about Wil Wheaton's YouTube activity. I'll have to check it out. And I agree, if a SMT is actually contributing content, then I get it. But when people think they are important just because they have lots of followers, well...

  2. Hmm, interesting! I don't really see the point in online attention for the sake of attention... There's a bit of focus on stats/numbers in the book blogging sphere, but I try to remind myself that it's not about the numbers. I blog primarily as an outlet for my thoughts. If I got to choose, I'd rather have meaningful conversations with a few interesting people than vapid interaction with a bunch who technically follow me. :)

    1. Yes, that's what we strive for. But it's easy to be seduced into the popularity game. I am trying to be more thoughtful in my blogging. I am struggling to put my thoughts into words and so I don't post as much as I have in the past few months.

  3. This is such a fascinating topic! I am listening to the Podcast, and this is hilarious. First, people actually meet on Instagram?! Then he blocked her?! Are they 12?! But then... she is insane. Like, for real. It is not your JOB. Instagram and Snapchat are not jobs. They can be PART of a job, if you're involved in something that requires a strong media presence, but ignoring your date is not part of anyone's work contract.

    I digress ;) I think anyone who claims to be a "social media star" probably is not one. Does that make sense? Because I don't think the public would really LIKE someone who acted like that. As for what constitutes a star? Well, being famous for something else is probably pretty key like, 99% of the time. And I think for the 1% who are actually famous because of social media and ONLY social media? I think it involves quite a bit of luck, honestly. Happening upon a medium at just the right time, and having a niche that people end up interested in, knowing people who can and will promote you, etc. I think there are probably varying levels of "stardom" too. Like, in the book community, we may think someone is HUGE, but outside of us no one has ever heard of that person. So I guess the "star" label has a pretty loose definition.

    As for whether I'd want to be one? Nah. Too much pressure to always be "on". And frankly, I don't think my life is interesting enough to come up with clever tweets or something all day ;) But like you, I DO hope for a strong presence, at least in our little corner of the world :D Fabulous post, thanks for posing this question, it is so thought provoking!!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. Thank you Shannon. When we heard this exchange on the radio, we were laughing so hard it was tough to concentrate on driving! I think the woman was pretty full of herself. I guess she thinks she is a Kardashian. Have a great week.


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