Since when are celebrities treated like normal people? They haven’t been and never will be.
Though this may be true, I applaud the celebrities who make an attempt at a semi-normal (at best) life, even trying out Twitter as their key to normalcy. Celebrities use the ever-growing social media tool every day to pretend their lives are ordinary, by tweeting mundane things like, “Great Sunday with my hubby. We watched some football and Saw 2 n took a long nap. Bout to make some dinner now w/ Hank,” like former Hugh Hefner girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson recently did. Psst… people still don’t believe you are just like everyone else.
Sometimes, though, celebritweeting can get a bit out of hand. Recently, Miley Cyrus and best friend Demi Lavoto, both tween Disney stars, got into a Twitter battle. After media speculation of who was to blame and how the friendship went south so quickly, it was discovered to be nothing more than two 16-year-old girls with nothing better to do on a Friday night, besides, you know, be famous.
Would this kind of scandal ever have happened if the faux-fight had been between two teens at County High School? Of course not, which brings about the idea that celebrities have a responsibility when it comes to social media. No, it’s not fair. Stars should be able to use Twitter however they want. But they are in the public eye, and when they broadcast their lives on Twitter, they can’t expect to say or do immature things without some public scrutiny.
For further proof, think about all of the bad publicity Jessica Simpson recently got for tweeting, “WTF!? Do I really have to sleep like this???,” while staying in a tent in Uganda, where she was filming for a new show. While any Average Joe might have gotten some cyberspace ridicules from his friends for saying something like that, Jessica made headlines. Then again, how can one expect not to with 1,675,356 followers?
And then there are the just-plain-ridiculous celebritweeters. Chad Ochocinco, a football player for the Cincinnati Bengals, plans to tweet from the endzones this season. What?! Yes, my reaction exactly. Mashable’s editor in chief, Adam Ostrow, explains in a blog post that Ochocinco plans to fly a different fan out to the game every week, pre-discuss some hand gestures he will make to the fan and in turn his fan will tweet his messages for him from his personal phone. By going to such elaborate lengths, Ochocinco bypasses all NFLrules prohibiting tweeting from the field. Honestly, I can’t get over the fact that theNFL actually has to address Twitter field-use at all.
Celebrities must learn how to effectively use this social media tool as just that — a way to reach out to fans, spread messages they believe in and maybe even do some self-promotion, as many stars are known to do. Kim Kardashian, for example, does a great job of promoting Quick Trim, a dietary supplement for which she is the spokesperson, on her Twitter. She tweets about promotional events and even posts pictures from Quick Trim photo shoots she does. She has also begun promoting her new perfume, set to be released on Valentine’s Day 2010, and has engaged her fans by posting pictures of bottle shapes and colors and asking for input and votes. A self-proclaimed PR person, Kardashian seems to really get this social media thing.
If these stars can’t use this social media tool the way it is meant to be used, maybe they should take a hint from Miley Cyrus, who recently deleted her account after the previously mentioned Twitter war with her bff. Cyrus claimed (in a YouTube rap video, no less) that by doing this she hoped to keep her private life private, something she just could not handle with a Twitter account.
In order to avoid such drastic measures and continue to reach out to fans through Twitter, celebrities must choose where to draw the line between personal and private, and should respect the proper uses of Twitter. Fans don’t want to follow stars who will waste their time having Twitter wars or racing their significant others to 1,000,000 followers, as reality couple Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt did. After all, ordinary people want to see the stars using Twitter to connect with fans, not using them to compete for the biggest fan base.