THE MEMEIFICATION OF CELEBRITOPIA
“Some people, or scenarios, are “meme-ified” as a means of spreading information in a funny way online, that doesn’t offend anyone in the process. The real issue with this process is when the line between people and memes blurs, and those sharing the content forget that a living individual is on the other side of the screen.” Niamh Martin, Junior Account Executive at THINKHOUSE
The receipts are there, even if you delete the post, it’s probably already been screenshotted, screen recorded and shared across group chats. Niamh Martin, introduces the ‘meme-ification’ of the celebrity, mapping how the lines are blurred between what we see from a real-time happening in a famous person’s life can translate to a viral moment, whether they like it or not. As we keep on sharing, we run the risk of losing ownership of our own content. For the famous, how they sit and listen in can become a meme moment (talking about you Matt Le Blanc, Irish Twitter’s uncle), and be embraced. Even for people who aren’t under the public eye can become celebrities in their own right, a viral meme becoming a fast track ticket to fame. Ultimately the choice of what they share does not belong to us, however, consumers are growing more and more demanding in this relationship, to a potentially dangerous extent. With this free access, people also run the risk of losing control or power of their own content. Brittany Broski, aka Kombucha Girl, knew she could use her viral moment to create a platform for herself, but needed to act fast to use her moment the right way - “I knew that we were on minute 14:59 of my 15 minutes of fame, and so I was just pumping out other content.” On the other side, those 15 minutes of viral fame can continue to haunt you. Demi Lovato is haunted by an unflattering photograph of herself, initially uploaded to Tumblr in October 2015 and becoming her ‘fictional alter ego’, still used to demean Lovato publicly. With the risk of going viral, it isn’t any wonder more and more young people are obsessed with how their peers react on social media, restricting interactions by turning off comments or replies, to self preserve your own image.