Internet fame not unlike real fame

So I’ve got a friend who is pretty famous on the Internet. I can’t tell you who it is, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. You’ve most likely heard of her if you’re even tangentially steeped in popular Internet culture. Granted, you may not like her, but that’s a different story altogether.

So, what’s it like knowing someone e-famous? Maybe like knowing someone regular famous. Maybe not. See, while fame is great and all, not all fame is the same. There’s regular famous, like actors and musicians, and then there’s Internet famous, like my friend.

Now, I’m not writing this to degrade her fame in any way. On the contrary, I want to point out a few differences, straight from her mouth, about how these two types of fame aren’t the same.

People recognize her on the street at least once every time she goes out: “I have people come up to me, ask me questions that in all reality they have no business asking. People take pictures of me and post them on the Internet …The downside is my privacy is nonexistent, with little to no benefits.” Sounds the same as regular fame, right? So what are those benefits?

One would be money. Ah, money. It’s what makes the world go round. How much does someone Internet famous like her make? For someone whose videos get multimillion hits on YouTube, let’s just say that her having a day job isn’t a bad idea. At least her fame helps her acting career.

But more than that, another benefit is her audience and how she interacts with them. “I get many e-mails and messages telling me about how I’ve changed their life or affected them positively and it makes me feel like I’ve contributed to the world in some minute way.”

So where does that leave this article? At the end of the day, the key difference between the two types of fame is scale. “(Internet fame) feels very much like what I imagine regular celebrities go through. I get recognized, I get fan mail, I get hate mail, I get harassed, I get stalked. Just not nearly as much as a ‘regular’ celebrity does.”

So what we can take from this is that it’s both awesome and it sucks to be an Internet celebrity. Huh, kind of sounds like being a regular celebrity. Maybe I’m actually wrong this time. But for the sake of being contrary, nah.


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