Think back. Before Youtube allowed you to ‘broadcast yourself’ and ‘friending’ or ‘following’ were household terms. Even before Myspace and the endless kaleidoscope of social networking and social media outlets at our fingertips (blogs, social bookmarking) became the norm, the divide between the celebrity and the commoner was almost un-crossable. Besides the occasional sweepstakes won and chance meeting on the street, the interaction between the celebrity and commoner was often left to professional encounters (paid public appearances, concerts, and the like).
However, with the advent and subsequent popularization of social networking, websites like (what was) Myspace and Facebook have helped blur that line, making celebrities all-the-more accessible to their adoring fans. And time has shown that no outlet has better proven the beclouding of the barrier than Twitter. Easily the most popular social networking site amongst celebs, the site is a testament to celebrity ‘outreach’, demoting celebs from their ‘demi-god’ statuses and, to great degree, humanizing them. Giving glimpses into what once were mysterious private lives.
On a note separate from fan interactions, Twitter’s ability to give the un- or under- promoted artist a chance to take matters into his or her own hands, separate from record labels or official websites, has also proven itself to be a benefit.
But, every good thing comes with a price and it is no exception.
Twitter has shown us the good, bad, and ugly of many of our favorite celebrities. Ask Rihanna, 50 Cent, Keri Hilson, Trina and other Urban pop stars and they’ll tell you the power of the almighty tweet – and the backlash it can ensue when an altercation arises or a joke goes too far. And then there’s poster-child for Tweet-misuse, Chris Brown. Rarely have two weeks gone by this year without having a negative headline and the keywords ‘Twitter’ or ‘tweet’ somewhere near his name. From e-altercations with fans and other celebs alike, Brown has become the reigning representative of what happens ‘when tweets go wrong’.
So it begs the question: While the benefits of marketing and PR are endless on the social media front, does Twitter cause the demystification of the “celebrity” – thereby making them unappealing?
In simpler terms, That Grape Juice wants to know…