Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lady Gaga and the Illusion of Intimacy Video

When we consider the ways in which new media impact imaginary social relationships, the illusion of intimacy becomes more intense, as social media require such a high level of disclosure. Beyond disclosure, social media require celebrities to directly address their fans. In this way imaginary social relationships, a term John Caughey coined in the mid-1980s, are amplified. The 24/7 nature of new media suggests that such amplication may lead to greater volatility. Think about how quickly Tiger Woods lost some of his key endorsement deals as we learned of his gross infidelities. Lady Gaga, along with Kim Kardashian and several other celebrities are now masterfully utilizing new media in order to manage their public personae.

1 comment:

goale05 said...

I think that social media feeds the illusions of closeness that everyday Americans have with celebrities. The mediums that celebrities use to interact with their fans, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as celebrity gossip sites are included in the category of social media. I think that Twitter is currently the most powerful tool for celebrities that are trying to "connect" with their fans.

When a celebrity posts something on Twitter, the fans feel like they are included in their favorite celeb's life. Celebrities can also use Twitter to directly talk to individual fans by mentioning them in their Tweet. Together, the inclusion in their lives and the possibility of a direct reply, serve to increase the creation of imaginary social relationships. This illusion of closeness between a fans and a celebrity is a major factor in their connection or relationship with a celebrity. In addition, although a fan may have never actually met the celebrity, they might feel as if they know them because the celebrity is including them in parts of their life.