It would be easy to lay the blame at the feet of the media – but it’s more complicated than that. It’s a fact that some young people want to be famous. It’s also true that media can stoke the fire of celebrity. There is no shortage of media celebrity worship available through traditional outlets and online “star gazing”. But so much of what fills these sites is manufactured “outrageous behavior” and skillfully marketed faux pas. When young people imitate or try to replicate this type of image – they may not understand what they’re chasing is an image contrived by marketing professionals.
However, what’s changed is that the technological tools used by those marketers are now available to anyone with a smart phone and a computer. Those young people posting semi-nude selfies on Instagram may not have ET or E Now! chasing them around the local supermarket, but they can post videos and messages from the bar, the bathroom or, yes, the supermarket.