By: Emily Bennett and Elizabeth Banquer
In the essay The Imaginary Social World and use of Media Figures in Advertising, Neil Alperstein discusses how when we spend so much time with media, it’s natural for individuals to gravitate towards particular celebrities and create an illusion of intimacy. “First, they function as an emotional outlet providing a portal for both positive and negative feelings to be vented. Second, they function as role models that an individual may incorporate into his or her own make-up. Third, media figures may influence individuals to behave in certain ways.” Additionally the development of social media has allowed for more engagement in cultural icons and interactions.
Kevin Hart is a well known celebrity from television who is mostly active through his role in comedy. Hart, who has 95 million followers across major platforms, says social media “is extremely important, as I can engage with my fans on a regular basis. With a click of a button, I can talk with you and see what you like, what you don’t, and really engage.” Hart really does care for his fans and wants to reach out to them on a daily basis. This is why fans are so attached to him, he caters his comedy scripts towards a wide audience of individuals and is a genuinely funny guy.
I have a 30min break….Let’s talk people. Ask & I will answer….Let’s gooooo
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) March 24, 2017
Hart consistently says to reporters “I’m human and there’s no difference between me and my fans, apart from the fact I’m up there on that big screen,” he insists. “Other than that, I’m the same kind of person as you are, and I love to share because I think that information is key, and the more information I give, the more I can help and inspire others to want to build and achieve levels of success within the realm they’re in. At the end of the day, it’s about motivation and inspiration.” Hart additionally separates himself from other celebrities as his personality is essentially who he is. There is no character that Hart is playing, he is merely being himself and that is why fans can connect to him so easily. How he portrays himself on social media and television is who he is in real life; there is no disjunction.
Drake is a well known rapper, and a growing celebrity in the music and social media industries. He began his career with acting on the hit teen television drama Degrassi. Drake has a large following of fans across numerous platforms of social media. Drake or Drizzy for short has a mass media following of 34.7 million followers on twitter, 35.2 million followers on instagram, 7 million subscribers on youtube, and 35 million likes on facebook.
Champagne Papi uses his social media to communicate with fans about upcoming music, events, and things that are occurring in his personal life. Drake also has a history of getting into Twitter feuds with other rappers. After his fight with rapper Meek Mill the article “What Drake taught us about Social Media” Drake discussed his four rules of using social media as, “don’t sh*t on social media, timing is everything, content is king, and don’t be afraid to piggyback.”
— Drizzy (@Drake) March 19, 2017
Social media has given celebrities a new way to connect to fans all over the world in real time. Being able to create fan based relationships through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat has allowed celebrities to essentially create a brand for their name and what they represent. Previously celebrities were unable to make such large connections and the intimacy between them and their fans lacked. Nowadays celebrity status has transformed with Web2.0 and created stronger invisible relationships.