When I was a young girl, I bought my share of Teen Beat magazines. I diligently tore out the posters of heartthrobs from the 80's and taped them to my wall. I read the articles stating what they looked for in a girlfriend and determined that I had each and every quality and would most certainly make the perfect girlfriend. I even wrote a four page letter…thought out precisely so as to appear different from all the other letters, yet not so different it sounded weird. I sent it, convinced I'd receive a heartfelt personal letter, addressed only to me, telling me how perfect I was for him. I received back a form letter with a stamped autograph. I gave up trying to have any sort of personal connection to a celebrity at that point. Sure, I still read the articles and watched the Oscars and Emmys, but I had heard their canned answers a million times. I was over it.
Flash forward to 2014 and the difference between then and now. Social media has allowed for people to interact with celebrities and sports figures in ways that weren't even imaginable back in the 80's. Rather than just interviews in magazines, or even sound bites on television, we now walk into a world where real-time commentary and interactive discussions are commonplace for the rich and famous. For this reason, celebrities of any nature are able to reach out to an audience they may not be able to connect with in magazine interviews filled with answers determined by their publicists. By logging on to an online discussion, you can submit questions you want to ask and maybe, just maybe they'll answer yours. The answers are genuine, real and conversational, most as if you're discussing the day over cup of coffee in your kitchen. You can hear their humor, their natural responses and their candor in ways you haven't heard before.
The use of real-time commentary, interactive discussions and social media like Facebook and Twitter helps us to build what feels like a more personal relationship with celebrities. We can "follow" our famous friends and read exactly what they felt like posting that very day. It's off the cuff…..it's their human side…and they become regular people (to a degree) just like us. Often, they'll give sneak peeks of what they're working on and sometimes, they want the help of their fans in promoting their work. They may even ask for ideas on what projects they should work on next. Their humor, passion for their craft and genuine personality come out in social media formats. So for 13-year old girls everywhere? That fan letter isn't necessary….but go ahead and tweet them if you choose.
Tamara Day is a writer that's living life in a northern town while dreaming of a southern one, while having interactive discussions with celebrities on http://www.tawkers.com