The internet has brought a lot of people a lot closer together. The rise of blogging, vlogging, YouTube and other internet platforms have thrown a lot of interesting people into the lime light.
The personalized medium makes many people feel like they know these pseudo-celebrities on a more intimate level than they do. Even when these people haven’t even met these celebrities. I feel this way myself!
I am an avid Game Grumps fan. I feel like I know who those people are. They present themselves in a very candid, personal way. I’ve heard many of their stories and life events. I know a lot about these people who I’ve never even laid eyes on.
The thing is if I ever met them it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to approach them in a candid, personal way. I interact with these people online presence everyday, and its really easy to forget that they don’t know me like I feel like I know them.
I personally wouldn’t accost one of these internet celebrities. They don’t know me, and even though I feel personally connected to them, I’m not. They probably aren’t ever going to be a friend of mine. I’m a stranger. They have millions of these people who feel close to them, and they can’t possibly have serious friendships with most of these people. I’m sure they’d love to try, but they aren’t timeless gods.
Its been mentioned a lot by these people how hard it is sometimes to deal with people who want to make them a fixture in their life. Markiplier mentioned once that he actually had to move because some of his fans found his apartment and bothered him at odd times. The Game Grumps get stopped at the most banal of places. They talk about how sometimes its very exhausting to try and maintain a good face after the bazillionth fan has said hello, wanted a photo or autograph.
I’m reading a series by one of my favorite authors Django Wexler. His books have a feel to them that I can’t find elsewhere. The lore is deep, the world is complex, and his characters feel real. I get excited about this stuff, and it makes me interested in the person who crafted this world.
I tweeted at him one day. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but he favorited the tweet. Its kind of exciting! Someone you only know in the abstract, identifiable by his famous persona, acknowledged your existence.
The craziest part is the fact that the next time he straight up tweeted back at me. I tweet at him on a semi-regular basis. Most of the time I’m quipping at something he says or is doing. He tweets back at me occasionally. I have had entire brief conversations with him via twitter, and it makes me feel cool.
The thing is he isn’t trying to live up to some personality I’ve assigned him. He’s just a man who writes books I love. He plays games like I do, and has a handful of similar interests. We are able to connect across these distances and converse about very human things. That idea right there is what I think many people don’t consider when they see or meet a celebrity. They are only human. And I think we as a people would do to remember that at their core, all people are just… people.
I actually got to meet Django recently at Powell’s for a book signing. He graciously signed all of my original hard covers and he gave me some totally sweet metal engraved book marks. I introduced myself to him as Daniel, and that I tweet at him too much.
He recognized my twitter handle. Should I be honored, or embarrassed? Ha!