One of the main things that puzzles mainstream media is the sudden rise and dizzying success of social media celebrities. From Kim Kardashian to Justin Bieber, platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have grown their own stars, but it’s the appearance of vloggers that confuses them the most. In order to answer some of these questions, digital TV channel W set Sophie-Ellis Bextor on a quest to discover what makes fame on the Internet.
By exploring the “changing shape of fame in an instant-access and technology-driven world”, Sophie looks into multiple aspects of digital stardom including a focus on four of our YouTube faves Emily Canham, Jake Boys, Riyadh K and Calum McSwiggan. As you can see from the promo video below, Sophie demonstrates a complete lack of understanding for what makes vloggers so popular after trying to watch only 45 seconds of Emily’s vlog channel. Unfortunately, Twitter seemed to share her confusion.
In addition to looking at vloggers, Sophie-Ellis Bextor took it upon herself to imitate Kim Kardashian’s social media habits for seven whole days in order to understand why people choose to document their lives so publicly. After spending the week copying every post, selfie and tweet, Sophie determined that “when you are in the public eye everything you post has the potential to attract negativity and this is one of my biggest concerns with social media. If you read something negative it can feel really personal and if you are sensitive to that it really stays with you”.
Whilst her brief time emulating a Kardashian sister left her uninspired to carry on with the constant selfie-taking trend, Sophie did recognise that the world of vloggers and social media stars had “so many surprises. All the YouTubers and Gamers are now celebrities. If you ask my seven-year-old, he wants to be a YouTuber”. The show aired at 9pm on the 29th of February, but it is currently unclear how people are able to rewatch the documentary. We will update this article when we find out more information.