Reality TV set the tone for how we would behave on social media: Be emotional. Create drama. Share, share, and share some more. And be ready for instant celebrity.
In the fourth episode of Watching Us Jamie traces the line between reality TV and social media.
Just as fame was seeming more achievable and the stars more normal, social media and smart phones finally took off. Suddenly we had a camera and a TV channel of our own – complete with ratings and an audience.
But how should we behave now that we had our own reality shows?
Like Jade, and Kim, of course. Be emotional. Create drama. Turn every mundane act into a form of self-expression to be shared with the world. Flatter and edit ourselves constantly. Perform a version of ourselves even if it’s not quite real.
(Or does it become real when it’s shared on the screen?)
A number of reality TV stars killing themselves in recent years has shown just how much pressure and stress comes with performing and being judged all the time – whether it’s reality TV or on social media.
Now we’re all reality TV stars, we compare ourselves daily to other people’s carefully edited reality, and they compare theirs to ours. And we all worry: Are we keeping up?