I read an interview with Jarett Kobek about his novel, I Hate the Internet, the other day, and thought some of what he had to say about celebrity and the internet was particularly interesting. Kobek argues that celebrities have now transcended a distinct personality, gender, or sexuality, and instead, are simply ‘celebrity’, as if it were a whole separate breed of person. Leaving that aside for a moment, I found myself thinking about the whole idea of celebrities when I was watching some Dylan Moran videos later in the evening.
I hadn’t heard about ‘FOMO’ until I read about it in an article. Apparently, it’s really a thing! Through social media, people can tailor their online presence to appear to have a certain kind of life, and others who view this presentation then fret about why they don’t have that, too (Fear Of Missing Out).
That’s not news. That’s always happened. It’s always been the case that it’s easy to look at someone else’s life and believe that they have it better. We’ve always imagined that movie stars are all tremendously rich and confident and popular, when the reality is that they’re just people, and while they might have more money at their disposal which means they can afford more ‘stuff’, it doesn’t follow that they’re any more content than your average person.
Their internet persona just makes it seem as if they do.
Some weeks ago, I went to a couple of events at the Great Southern Writers’ Festival, where I listened to various authors talk about their craft, their stories and their experiences. It was a real insight into the different ways in which writers work, and with which aspects they struggle, and which they enjoy. It was also quite inspiring, being in such close proximity to Real Life Published Authors, but at one point, when listening to the panel discuss their books, I had an epiphany.
Well, it wasn’t really an epiphany. More of a thought, really: