Social Media and Obsession with Popularity in spite of Danger

Being popular on social media is a big deal and many people work hard to ensure they attain this popularity. The pressure is always on to be creative and have engaging posts that may go viral and have everyone talking about it.

A term on social media; Influencers refers to people who have enough loyal followers and can influence their followers to accept a new product or service. Influencers can suggest a product to their followers who will then be quick to try the new product and make great recommendations about it. For an organisation, influencers can be a valuable asset. Some people are paid by organisations to wear their product and post the images online in the hope of generating additional sales from the followers of the individual.

How does a person become an influencer? By posting engaging materials on social media and building a high number of followers. When an influencer posts an image or video, the followers are quick to like and comment on the posts. In the social media world, when a post generates a lot of likes or comments, it is something to be proud of. People like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey to name a few are examples of influencers. Any post by any of the above mentioned will generate thousands of likes in a few seconds.

Many non-celebrities and everyday people have become popular from their social media posts and platforms.  Each day, they work hard on having creative posts to keep their followers happy. In many cases, this need for creativity and obsession with becoming popular on social media has led to people to put their lives at risk just to get the perfect picture.  There are stories of people taking selfies high up on mountain cliffs, edges of bridges, etc. and many have lost their lives. There was a story in the news this year about a young couple who were recording a YouTube video where the girl shot her boyfriend who was holding a book to his chest. The book was supposed to act as a shield and prevent the bullet from killing him. Unfortunately, the bullet went through the book and  he was killed instantly.

Earlier this year in India, a man was killed while attempting to take a selfie on a railway track.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/man-crushed-to-death-while-attempting-selfie-before-moving-train/articleshow/58909101.cms

A lady was swept away to death after taking selfies in a river.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/student-swept-to-her-death-by-dam-water-seconds-after-posing-for-selfies-in-new-zealand-river-a3461521.html

(Image Culled from: Evening Standard)

Two boys were found dead at the bottom of a cliff in UK in May of this year after apparently attempting to take selfies.

(Image: Robert Harding World Imagery)

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/teenagers-found-dead-bottom-cliff-10111769

Below is a link that has many more examples of deaths and accidents that have occurred while attempting to take pictures in spite of danger involved.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/evd85n/people-are-literally-dying-for-the-perfect-insta-pic

What is it about our society that makes us feel the need to become popular? It appears we are now concerned with attaining instant fame at all costs. Is it because of the reality TV shows and the fact that we have watched ordinary people become famous for just being famous? Or perhaps we have always been needy and felt the need to be recognised? Maybe the rise of social media has helped to highlight these problems. What can we do to change this trend? Is there anyway to stop this obsession or will it get worse? What are your thoughts?

 

References:

(The Vice.Com July 19, 2017) https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/evd85n/people-are-literally-dying-for-the-perfect-insta-pic

(Mirror UK 28th May 2017 ) http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/teenagers-found-dead-bottom-cliff-10111769

(The Times of India May 30, 2017) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/man-crushed-to-death-while-attempting-selfie-before-moving-train/articleshow/58909101.cms

(The Evening Standard UK: February 8, 2017) https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/student-swept-to-her-death-by-dam-water-seconds-after-posing-for-selfies-in-new-zealand-river-a3461521.html

 

Social Media and Obsession with popularity in spite of danger. What is the reason? http://wp.me/p3QRy0-hOs

Social Media and Obsession with popularity in spite of danger. What is the reason? http://wp.me/p3QRy0-hOs

2 thoughts on “Social Media and Obsession with Popularity in spite of Danger

  1. Wow! What a totally enlightening and reassuring blog! I am so relieved to read that I am not alone in thinking this is one of the major risks, and disadvantages, of social media: obsession and addiction to being famous, to being recognized, to being special.

    And I think the rise of social media has indeed given rise to the expectation of instant gratification of our needs for belonging and being recognized publicly. I think it makes many people feel they are not alone.

    Louise

  2. Thank you for your comments Louise. You are so right. Instant gratification is the new order of the day. It appears we all want to be loved. Having so many likes on a post is a big deal. I remember meeting a young student and I asked him about what skills and qualifications he had that could help him in University. His response was that he had 10,000 followers on instagram!!! I could’t believe what I heard….But I was awake, I wasn’t sleeping and yes he did say that!!! How times have changed….

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