I have many social media pet peeves, but here’s one I am most definitely allergic to:
People posting pictures of themselves with celebrities.
Before we talk about why people feel the need to do that, I have to tell you that most celebrities do not impress me. As a broadcast journalist I have interviewed many of them in the studio or at their showroom homes, and I can honestly say that most of them are jerks.
Mind you, they weren’t born that way. It kind of comes with the job of being admired, having money and “influence,” and being treated like royalty wherever they go. But just because they are famous doesn’t mean they’re interesting, or even nice as a person.
In my experience, lots of celebs are shallow and are nothing like the image the marketing department wants you to believe. Some actors are absolutely brilliant when they say the lines that have been written for them, but when you interview them as themselves, they have very little to say. Many of them just want to be left alone and not be bothered, and who can blame them?
But instead, they are contractually obligated to promote whatever it is they’re doing to ensure the success of the production, so that whoever has put money in it, will see a nice return on investment. Most of the relationships these celebrities find themselves in, are entirely transactional: I do something for you, so you’ll do something for me.
You’ll do the interview for me and pretend to like me, so I’ll give you a platform to promote your motion picture. We’re not friends. We are using each other. You get free publicity, I get better ratings which will bring in more advertising revenue making the shareholders happy.
So, as a celebrity you are always suspicious of people’s motives. “Does he want to date me because he likes me for who I am, or because I’m rich and famous?” When the whole world knows who you are, you have to be on the lookout for shady characters who could blackmail you, or try to hurt your reputation. And then there are these crazy fans that stalk the object of their affection and become violent when rejected.
In the midst of that is you, dear reader, who can’t wait to bother someone famous for a selfie. Let’s be honest. It’s not about that famous person, really. It’s so you can tell the world: “Look at ME!” You’re secretly hoping that some of that celebrity sparkle will rub off on you as you step into their artificial aura.
You’re seen with someone important, so that must mean that you are important. You’re seen with someone interesting, so you must be interesting. You don’t need to do that. Why?
Because you are enough.
You don’t need to stand next to a famous person to show the world that you matter. I won’t like you more or less if you show me proof that you’ve met some Hollywood celebrity. Don’t you get that?
Owning a big car or a big house and posting it all over social media doesn’t make you a kind or interesting person. I don’t care if you fly business class and drink champagne all day long. I care about how you treat the stewards and stewardesses; the people who are lower on the totem pole; the people who can’t help you become more successful and even richer.
Of course some of you will tell me:
“But Paul, I met this celebrity and took a selfie after the show and he was really nice!”
Of course he was. It’s part of his contract to be likable. Likable is bankable. I’m sure there are a few famous people who get a kick out of meeting their fans, but I guarantee you that the majority just wants to go home after an exhausting show, and watch late night television on the couch. How do I know? Because I’ve asked them about it, and they are just like you and me.
They say that the biggest price they had to pay for their success, is their lack of privacy. It’s something you and I take for granted, until we become the center of attention.
Thank goodness I’m an invisible, utterly unimportant voice actor!
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