Back in the days of old AOL, it was all the rave to have a screenname (aka handle) that sounded like a known celebrity. At the time, no one really thought anyone was who they said they were (Superman, Prince, Madonna) until actual celebrities started staking out their names and demanding legitimacy. I’ve always preferred using mythological creatures and character names myself (you can get into some copyright issues there, too, if you name your WoW character “Richard Rahl”).
But with the popularity of Twitter, the game of celebrity impersonation has been taken to a whole new level. While some celebrities have “verified” themselves and others have professional “tweeters” keeping fans happy, others haven’t started playing or have no intention of doing so. This makes them prime targets for impersonation, and some clever impersonators have gotten away with quite a bit: Celebrity Roleplaying.
Smart followers know that if you want a real celebrity’s obscure Twitter feed, find it on a “certified” celebrity’s list. But if you can fool a real celebrity into giving you street credentials by leveraging a bit of private or even personal information, celebrity is yours… for as long as you can keep it up. Then the game is about followers, but the more you have, the closer each tweet is scrutinized until you finally slip up.
Such a clever fake celebrity was @jonahhill_jew, who recently gave it all up with confession on http://mynamewasjonah.blogspot.com. The sad truth is, he was fairly entertaining as “fake” Jonah Hill, but laments that the same comments made on his own “real” Twitter feed fell flat.
So, to paraphrase the “talented” Mr. Ripley, would your rather be a fake somebody than a real nobody?
One thought on “The Twitter Post: Celebrity Roleplaying”
I believe most people settle for being a real nobody when they want fame because they don’t want the work and removal of comfort zone that crafting real fame takes. But that’s fame, not “celebrity”, and they are vastly different. To me, the real pathetic ones are those who work so hard to be a fake somebody. This also appears to take a massive effort of time and work, and sooner or later, it all falls apart. Why not turn all that focus and energy into creating real celebrity? Heck, it can’t be that hard – look at Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie! Sure, they had the advantage of being rich as kids, but all they did to become celebrities was exist as the daughter of Rich Guy and then misbehave in public. Easy! So all the fake somebodies, give it up and go misbehave in public. If the right people are watching, you’ll achieve your goal in no time, and this time it’ll be the real deal. And you don’t have to be rich first, either. That will come later when you’re offered a reality show to document your antics. Isn’t celebrity grand?
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