Instafame: The Rise of the Microcelebrity

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We live in an age where reality TV is changing our perspectives. Today, a six-year-old girl (forever known as Honey Boo Boo) is famous for her pageantry and antics; Kim Kardashian is famous for being famous. But it doesn’t stop with TV. There’s Jen Selter (@JenSelter) and her rear and exercise moves — all from Instagram. So, what happens when fame comes from your social activity?

A cultural shift is happening. Fame is no longer an out-of-touch dream. 31% of teens aged 14-18 believe they’ll be famous one day. That’s more than one out of four teens. And they may have reason.

Shawn Megira is your average teen — except he has over 50,000 followers on Instagram. He is instafamous. And this short documentary follows his story and what this means.

What I find remarkable is the cultural aspects we see at play. Some poignant questions are asked of us. Instagram is more than just photos of food. It’s a look at our lives and what we value. We can all agree selfies portray a sense of narcissism, but is it narcissistic if people expect them? James Franco has noted it seems weird if someone doesn’t have a few selfies in their stream. It shows people more of who you are and how you portray yourself.

At the end, is Instagram changing our lives? As Shawn points out, “It doesn’t change things, and if it does, then you need to re-evaluate your life because it’s just an app.” Agree?

Watch the film, then share your thoughts with us.

INSTAFAME DOCUMENTARY from Sylvain Labs on Vimeo.

Nicky Yates

Director of Communications, Social Media Week

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