Celebrity Research Project

After studying the Twitter accounts of Seth MacFarlane and Kevin Spacy, we have seen the effective and not so effective patterns of communication between these celebrities.  We noticed that Kevin Spacey, posted the most interactive posts, such as, “Ask Frank Underwood (his character) anything.  This method od cmmunication was highly effective in retaining and building his fan base, while bringing viewers to the show.  Seth MacFarlane on the other hand, did not post regarding his characters whatsoever. Instead, he posts to build his comic appeal by retweeting and tweeting random funny thoughts.

We interviewed six students of Loyola about the celebrity they felt closest to.  Of all of these celebrities, the students seemed to connect with social media version of the celebrity most.  While the work the celebrities had performed in played a role in the imagined social relationship, it became obvious that the students engaged more with the imagined social aspects and “back stage” life of these celebrities.  For example, one student we interviewed said the celebrity he felt most connected with was Mark Wahlberg.  He said he felt such a strong connection not because of the characters played by Wahlberg, but because of Wahlberg’s actual life struggles.  Wahlberg grew up with little money and overcame a drug problem.  The student said that he felt most connected with Wahlberg because he admired the struggles he went through and the success that he has now.  Another student mentioned that the celebrity he felt most connected with was Robert Downey Jr.  for almost the same reasons.  Like the other student, this student said that he felt more connected with Robert Downey Jr. and his real life than his characters lives.  The third interviewee said she felt the strongest connection to Leonardo DiCaprio and his struggle at award ceremonies.  Her reasoning was that was able to empathize with doing as much work as possible, and still receiving no praise.  The other two interviews did not follow this pattern, our last two interviewees chose Chris Rock, and Kevin Hart.  Their reasoning was simply comedic value.  The fourth interviewee said he likes Kevin Hart because of his deprecating humor.  As a result of this type of humor, the interviewee said he was able to feel better about himself and relieve stress. Overall, it seems that most students feel more connected to the celebrities through what is “real” in their lives and the choices they have made to achieve fame.

Out of all of the interviews, we notice that the people we interviewed chose to follow them on social media, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram because they feel that they can relate to their thoughts and ideas.  The thoughts and ideas of these celebrities mirror their own thoughts and ideas, therefore they create a connection with this person.  Although they obviously do not know the celebrity, they feel closer to this celebrity through mutual ideas.  This presents a psychological idea of connection where there actual isn’t one.

The celebrities use tactics such as comedic posts and interact with their fans through social media to further strengthen the false social connection between their fans.  As we have seen first hand, by constantly posting and interacting with their fans, Seth MacFarlane and Kevin Spacey were able to strengthen their connection with their fans (measured in favorites and retweets).

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