Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the Phenomenon of Celebrities

I love TV. If you ask me my favorite show, I'll probably rattle off three that I've been watching lately. I have the dates written on my calender of 3 different season premieres in the next 2 weeks. Sometimes I get the feeling that people think I'm a little pathetic for watching so much TV. And I might agree, except I do have a social life. I'm super involved in my church. I'm a leader, even. I still read lots of books. I knit, crochet, and paint. I have a love of theatre and try to attend shows regularly.

I grew up with books and TV shows as my main friends. When you're home all day every day with just your siblings, it can feel really hard to fill the time. The librarians used to not believe that I read so many books so fast. I lived vicariously through the people on Full House, Saved by the Bell, and Boy Meets World.

I say this because I've been thinking a lot lately about my latest TV obsession, and the reaction I've seen of others. I love Glee. I loved watching The Glee Project this summer. And I started to follow some of those people on Twitter. I started to see this pattern of person after person asking to be retweeted. For those of you not in Twitter, that basically means that you're asking a person to repost your post. It means they specifically saw your one post amidst what I'm sure are thousands of posts. My initial reaction to seeing all of these people plead for a celebrity to retweet them was that they were kind of sad and pathetic. Did these people really think that getting 2 seconds of acknowledgement from someone they'd never met would make everything better?

And then something I posted got retweeted. I hadn't asked for it or anything, I just posted something. I was surprised at the short burst of happiness that flooded through me. What? I couldn't believe it! So I started thinking about what the appeal is in being acknowledged that way. And I've been talking with someone about feeling like people don't care about you and feeling invisible.

We all crave intimacy. And these days there's a plethora of false intimacy. We have hundreds or thousands of Facebook friends. We read blogs, we Tweet. But how many close friends do we have? I have two. I have other friends that I love dearly, but we've begun to grow apart in recent years, or they're people I haven't known as long so we're not as close. When we don't have people who regularly connect with us, we start to feel desperate just to be seen, to be acknowledged. I don't want to feel invisible. I hate that feeling. I hope to continue developing new relationships, forming new intimate connections with people. I want a group of people with whom I can share my doubts and struggles and not feel judged or preached at.

I still think it'd be amazing to be on TV. I love acting, and I love the friendships and connections you can make with your castmates. But I don't know if I really want fame as much as I thought I did. I don't think I want that pressure of having so many people seek affirmation from me. I don't even fully understand why we think celebrities are so great. It's not like Hollywood has a reputation of churning out fantastic role models. Celebrities are just people. Just like I'm a person. And we all need relationships in our lives that love us for who we are, no matter what.