Marshmallow Porn as the unwitting Pulitzer of the future?

My favourite thing at work is when my co-workers talk about reality TV. It’s fascinating. I’m not intending to be facetious or condescending here, hearing them speak about these various celebrities and people of fame is genuinely enthralling. They’re so attuned to their shows they all seem to watch that they’ll motor through them like a bullet train. I’ll often stumble into the conversation after catching a snippet here or there. I’ll take off my headphones and listen a little closer. I’ve been caught out so many times thinking they’re talking about friends, relatives, other people around the office. Each time I’m struck by how dynamic and dramatic their lives are. This person is cheating on this person, but doesn’t realise their partner is pregnant. Also that Chris guy seems to really get pushed around by Kanye a bunch, but he’s still laughing all the way to the bank, apparently. It’s really intriguing the relationship that’s built up here. Audience members are so exposed to intimate details (no matter how manufactured they seem to be. C’mon, I couldn’t be entirely without cynicism here) and events within these characters’ lives and it creates the appearance of a fully realised human being.

Subsidiary social media only bulks this out more. Twitter accounts, Instagram feeds and Facebook posts- while no doubt carefully curated and run by skilled social network teams- deliver multiple platforms in which these characters can come alive. When we’re used to experiencing our friends primarily through their online facsimiles, how different are the relationships we share between celebrities and people we know? The content has still all been curated, whether by professionals or the individual’s own filter. Who are we to decide what authenticity really means in this context? What relationship has more depth out of celebrity idolatry (in which you’ve been privy to endless hours of personal information) and a mutual friend of a co-worker you briefly said hi to at a party and added because you liked the way they wore a smile? They’re both one-sided relationships of sorts until you flesh them out. Besides, who’s more likely to respond to your comments? Someone who accepted your friend request to bolster their friend count or Azealia Banks?

I’ve never had a meaningful exchange with someone renown online, but that’s more symptomatic of not seeking out those experiences. The limiting factors are dedication and a willingness to put myself out there in front of The Internet’s judgement. If I wanted to get my voice out there I’d need something significant enough to say to cut through the noise. Even if I sculpted something spectacular, my words would outlast the impression I made and I’d be a faceless name in the crowd. The likelihood of that transpiring in any real life friendship with a figure of note is minimal, but not impossible. Accessibility to those who we place on pedestals has never been easier. The inequality gap of fame is shrinking bit by bit as new celebrities are forged overnight through viral internet fame. The internet dangles that carrot in front of our face all too readily. We’re all online celebs in the making, we just need to combine timing and message. Hell, I could write something that gets picked up, shared and proliferated around the world, changing the scope of my audience from that of a small classroom to a small city.

It’d only last until they found the turd dinosaurs entry in any case.

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