Only 10 years ago, centralised broadcasting agencies seemed to have everlasting control within the media landscape. Professionals were united in beliefs that the fancier the camera, celebrities and content, the better and more successful their productions would be. Which is when broadcasting platform Youtube, driven by the exact opposite of these values, commenced to drastically change the ingredients of popular media content.
The democracy that once integrated within politics all of a sudden found its way to media. Resulting in social platforms where freedom, social interaction and DIY-culture have become characteristic values for the creation of precious virals. Offering prosumers the intrinsic motivation to express their identities, combined with the extrinsic motivation to pursue a widely shared, yet suddenly more accomplishable dream; transforming into an estimated and valued celebrity.
Elections of these newborn celebrities mostly consist of votes by other users, generating currencies known as likes, shares, follows and views. And although the word currencies might sound figurative, Channel 4’s Dispatches: Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans, provides clear insights on lucrative usage of these signs of social approval. And although platforms such as Youtube include sincere successes, this documentary examines the opportunities of the ‘fake it till you make it’ strategy.
It might be hard for those raised with properly crafted, professional broadcasting to understand what makes these amateurish ‘vloggers’ so likeable. Yet an explanation of their achievements can be found in the humane approach of their content. Many audiences seem to prefer watching someone they can actually relate to, in stead of a fake celebrity. As a result of this humane approach, we see a large variety in the generated content; exhibiting a valuable reflection of modern society and pop culture; which is why we are nowadays largely confronted with both the empowering beauty and the funny nonsense that lies within our every day lives.