Are Celebrities Ruining Our Social Networking Experience?

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Yesterday morning when I checked my email, I was inundated with news about rapper/producer Kanye West joining Twitter and performing an impromptu “concert” for Facebook staffers. I really didn’t think this was news per-se; celebrities have been on Twitter since its beginning and Facebook has seen it’s share of stars come through their doors (such as Ashton Kutcher, etc.). Why was this news? Then people began to tweet and discuss Kanye’s Twitter follower numbers at length (which were at 50,000 in just three hours after he had joined—he’s now at over 200,000— and he follows no one womp womp) and a recording of his freestyle appearance at Facebook surfaced on YouTube. It got me to thinking: are celebrities taking over social networks? And secondly, are they ruining our social networking experience?

I really began to question this a few weeks ago when LeBron James joined Twitter, and held everyone captive for three days while he made his big announcement about leaving the Cavaliers to go play with the Miami Heat. People thought that LeBron was going to make his announcement on his Twitter page, so there was a rush of people following him so they could be the “first” to learn about where he was going to go team-wise. My Twitter and Facebook stream seemed to all be discussing LeBron and the “decision” at length, so much so that I didn’t even want to log on. Is this LeBron’s fault?—of course not. But doesn’t the experience of getting to know people through social networking singed when the discussion begins to turn to celebs and celebs only?

All of this is just food for thought, mind you, but I could care less what LeBron or Kanye tweets about. I love what they do on the court and in the recording studio, but they don’t give a damn about me or my tweets (because they do not tweet or follow us “regular” folk), so why should I bother? I don’t follow many celebs, and the ones I do (i.e. Holly Robinson Peete, Tionna Smalls, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Wil Wheaton, etc.) tweet back and regularly engage with their followers.

LeBron and Kanye aren’t on Twitter to engage. They are on there to shamelessly plug and create publicity for their brands. New album coming out? Get on Twitter. Need to create a stir about your next move? Use social media of course and let it work it’s magic!

And let’s not talk about the psuedo celebrities (Kat Stacks, Natalie Nunn, et al) who are so desperate to be somebody, that tweeting gives them celebrity status even though they ain’t famous in the real world. And what about the stars who tweet some random stuff that can be considered offensive (see Chris Brown or Asher Roth) just to delete it like it didn’t exist? Of course there are screen caps of the tweet, so the covering up of some things are non-existent.

I enjoy Twitter because of the engaging conversations I have with folk. I do not want to send a tweet to a celebrity unless I know they are known to engage back and reciprocate. If I want to read about their lives, I will go to the gossip blogs. And I find that most celebs are boring Tweeters.

Maybe that is why Kanye is already at the number of followers he has—because we are all waiting for him to have another MTV Awards moment. Maybe he should tweet while drinking some Hennessy.

What do you think of celebrities and their usage of social networks? Is it overkill? Or do you feel like they enhance your social networking experience? Feedback please.

Photo and video from Sandra Rose Blog


Comments

  1. says

    I completely agree with you!! I used to follow a few more celebrities, but a lot of their twitter updates were ridiculous & often shameless plugs. I use Twitter to engage with local, real people, so I quit following all but Rainn Wilson & LeVar Burton – both of whom engage their followers. Great post!! I'm so glad I found your site. =) Emily

    • The Cubicle Chick says

      Thanks for reading and coming by my site! You are the 80th person who’s told me that Levar Burton is a great celeb to follow. I think I need to take the hint and follow him!

  2. says

    When I found out Kanye had a page, I added him to my "well-known-people" list on twitter. I generally don't follow people who don't respond to my tweets, but I'll keep them in one of my lists.

    • The Cubicle Chick says

      I am sure I will hear about his “outbursts” and whatnot through RTs on Twitter. He’s just not someone I want to follow, namely because I’m sure he won’t engage. Love him as a musician, though.

    • The Cubicle Chick says

      There have been certain celebs that I liked and then it’s messed up my whole perception when they tweet. Celebs on Twitter for the most part ruins “preconceived” notions.

  3. says

    I follow a few celebs, including LeVar Burton, Bill Cosby, and Oprah to name a few. Hip Hop artists such as Kanye or pro ball players such as Shaq and LeBron James I can do without them clogging my Twitter stream with useless information. Most of the celebs I follow don't tweet that often (with the exception of LeVar Burton and John Legend who both tweet everyday with some useful information) and when they do tweet they may just tweet about what they've been doing lately or what they have on their agenda. I'm just very picky of who I follow and follow back and if I do follow them and they aren't tweeting about anything I'm interested in- I just click "Unfollow." But I don't think ALL celebrities are ruining the social networking experience. Some are on Twitter to network and engage with their fans. Others, in my opinion, are just on there for promotional purposes.

  4. says

    I am a big sports fan and the LeBron decision still made me want to turn of my computer for three days. I’ve realized that even though you may not follow celebrities and stars, it doesn’t mean you won’t hear about it from the people you do follow. I wouldn’t say it has completely ruined social networking…but it’s definitely be more annoying.
    Brian Rogel�´s last blog post ..7 Incredible New Movies About Social Networking & Business

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