Social starts or talentless teens?

Sydney Monroe, Sports Editor

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Say names like Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier and Matthew Espinosa around your average 21st century teenage girl and a smile will quickly creep across her face, she will mutter a response, “He is so funny, I love him and his videos!” However, if you repeat these same names to any given grown adult a puzzled look will flash across their face while they mutter, “Who is that?”

If you don’t have a fan-girling teenager girl in your life, you should know they’re simply just a few of the many teenage social media heartthrobs that are taking the teenage world by storm. Gaining their fame from social media apps such as Twitter, Vine, and YouTube most of these Internet sensations have accumulated well over 10 million followers in just one year.

In reality, these people might be celebrities, but they don’t have any special talent, nor are they worth paying the money many do to see them live. However, much of America seems to disagree.

“These are the rock stars of the digital age,” said Sarah Wood, co-founder and chief operating officer of Unruly, a global marketing company focused on social video technology. “This is the Beatlemania of this generation.”

With the rate it is going, it doesn’t seem like they will fade out anytime soon.

Their fame has not just stayed behind a screen. They are now traveling the world and selling out convention centers and music venues with tickets to take a picture with them and get their autograph at well over $100 for just a few quick minutes, even seconds.

Back in March of 2014, the tour that started it all out, MAGCON (short for Meet and Greet Convention) headed to Chicago with Dallas, Grier, Espinosa and six more acts including Carter Reynolds and duo Jack and Jack. All 2,500 tickets sold out in just 30 seconds.

“The most I have paid to attend one of these events is $80,” junior Haylie Farmer said. “I attend these events because it’s fun to meet famous people.”

Since then, several more tours such as Press Play, Reality Dance and Sunsation have popped up showcasing more social media stars such as Taylor Caniff, Jake Foushee and Aaron Carpenter.

Some are failing to understand how someone who makes a quick 6-second video can have so many social media followers, so much fame, and so many numerous fans in such a short amount of time. But regardless of how they acquired the fame, isn’t that what classifies someone as a celebrity? A celebrity is nothing more than a well-known person, which is exactly where they stand in the teenage world.

Which brings us to the next proposition: Is posting 6 second clips to Vine, professional photo shoot photos to Instagram, and 4 minute videos to YouTube videos an easy feat that anyone could do and moreover, a talent? Not exactly. Although creativity is key for these videos to succeed, it doesn’t take much for a very attractive teenage guy to impress a teenage girl.

“I think they just got lucky at the right moment,” junior Nick Koff said. “They don’t deserve the success that they have because anyone can do it.”

“Society now gives the ability of people to become famous over social media,” Emma Tonelli, junior said. “They deserve to be famous because of their good personalities. They don’t have talent.”

Junior Baylee Tkaczuk adds that they’re “mainly talentless, just good-looking and funny.”

That is exactly what people pay for: Good looks and a good laugh. The selling of one of these boys’ autographs could not reimburse you for the money you spent on the ticket to have 30 seconds with them to get a picture and a half-hearted hug.

Social media mongrel Jack Dail, who recently became famous through Vine, doesn’t think it counts as talent at all unless you’re an actor or singer.

“There is no talent. It is just fun for us to do and it’s obviously just to entertain people,” he said.


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