I have a friend who I met while living in Barcelona in 2015 and we spent four weeks being almost inseparable. She left over a month before I did to go back to her hometown in New York but I didn’t think of getting her number because I had her on Snapchat and Instagram, which were our main forms of communication together in Barcelona anyways. However, in early 2016, she went MIA. She went from posting on her Snapchat story almost every day to not at all, and honestly, it took me until late September to notice. Her Instagram was still up even though she wasn’t posting, and I started wondering if she maybe just deleted me from snapchat. But, just before Christmas, she made her reappearance on Instagram with a flood of new posts from her year, and the interaction she got was insane, with people exclaiming “You’re back!” under each one of her new posts. It never occurred to me that she just wasn’t using social media.
The only times I see all my friends now is in my dreams and on social media
— Cheddar Bob (@NathanPenilla) December 25, 2016
Think of how little you actually interact with some of your friends. I’ll be the first to admit that one of the main ways I know that most friends are still alive and well is based on how often they post on their social media accounts. If someone really close to me who usually posts daily suddenly goes a consecutive week without posting anything, THAT’s when I know something is wrong and personally hit them up. If not, well, I feel like it is suffice to carry on our relationship through constant likes and comments. We maybe tag each other in memes every now and then, but the number of memes my good friends tag me in greatly exceeds the number of times a year we actually hang out.
Everyone hates on the Kardashians, and I don’t necessarily love them either, but aren’t they just an exaggerated reflection of ourselves? The reaction that my friend, who has a healthy but not excessive Instagram following, got when she started posting again is the same reaction that millions are having towards Kim Kardashian’s first posts in 3 months. You might say “I don’t care about those Kardashian people” and confidently claim that it’s society or the media that is perpetuating their unfounded fame, but who exactly is this blame being displaced to? You are society. You are the media. Even if having deep discussions about the Kardashians’s family dynamic is not part of your normal daily routine, every meme you share, like, or comment on that’s poking fun or even simply features an image of them is adding to the circulation of their presence.
I know, I know. It’s not your fault! They’re inescapable! I’m not saying that it is your fault, but you do have to recognize that you are part of the system, whether you like it or not. Haven’t you ever heard your parents or grandparents ask you something along the lines of “Hey, whatever happened to those Jersey Shore kids that were on TV all the time?”
I’m using the Kardashians as an example, but this goes for any celebrity/public figure whose fame you see as frivolous or whose existence seems to deteriorate the quality of human life as a whole. Or just a celebrity you personally hate. Whether it be Tomi Lahren, 2016 Kanye West, Wendy Williams or, everyone’s favourite, Donald Trump, we have some type of need to give attention in some form or another, and as long as we’re doing that, they won’t ever go away.