As human beings, we have basic needs (obvious, right?). When people of past generations lived, their goals and life plans were relatively easy and simple. You had to start your life-car from a young age, then make a quick, yet necessary stop at high school station. After that, make a long U-turn on College Street, and maybe – just maybe – you drive some miles into PhD’s and Masters Degrees. All that to (hopefully) discover that the more miles you drove, the better the final destination would be, surrounded with nice living conditions and job stability.
Now, it’s not a big secret that those life plans lay on a thin line. How could they not?
Yes, we have basic needs. BUT, there is an undeniable need of recognition people of our generation are naturally drawn to: fame. The old-fashioned way of obtaining fame back in the day was literally spending all your gas to drive to any audition or an interview you could get. If you were good enough, you could probably end up doing a few commercials, or be one of the ones who died first in Titanic.
Joshua Steinberg, a professor of the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s in communications studies, shared with us his experiences as he pursued acting at a young age—before he started his journey into college life.
“It’s a brutal, brutal, brutal industry,” says Steinberg “It’s based on others people’s subjective standards of the way you look, of the way you act, of the way that you present yourself, of your attitude. So, there is all of these interpersonal things that are happening that you don’t have in other industries, cause in other industries, it’s just about the work you do, or your ability to form relationships.”
However, as time has passed, Internet fame has changed things around as this new, massive phenomenon. It is the newest, upgraded social outlet for young generations to achieve this intensely desired recognition in a matter of seconds. Now, there are so many smartphone apps for anyone to share their creative endeavors with the world. The most accessible, and by extension, the most popular? Instagram, YouTube and Vine.
In 2013, Twitter bought Vine – a video sharing app that provides users the experience of creating a story in six seconds. Although it seems like any other social network, it has become a huge platform for young people to get their time in the spotlight.
Vine has expanded rapidly into a much more serious business than brief, funny videos. The most famous Viners–the creators of all of these entertaining snippets–get paid by advertising agencies such as Nike, Nordstrom and GE for promoting company products in videos.
“I know that YouTube will pay YouTube stars for how many views they get,” says “The Joe,” local UNT alumnus and Twitter celebrity. “But I don’t think vine offers that. I know that there are a lot of Viners that are Ad sponsored, and they’ll do promotions for some companies.”
And the requirements are not that difficult. All that you need is a phone with a camera and a good idea. As The Joe says, “six seconds—that’s all it takes.”
It seems like young Viners have found a very effective way to make themselves known, and ultimately be part of a much bigger screen than the one they use as a daily tool. This, in fact, is not far from some of these “celebrities'” realities.
Andrew Bachelor, best known as “King Bach”, is a 27 year-old Vine star, comedian and actor, who became famous for creating comedic vines. He has influenced millions of followers to make vines of their own. Bach himself landed roles in well-known TV shows like ‘House of Lies’, ‘The Mindy Project’ and ‘Wild ‘n Out’.
“I always wanted to be an actor,” says Bach on the ‘This is 50; show. “So, I came from Florida to the New York Film Academy to study film.”
However, Bach dropped out of college trying to pursue the production of home videos full time. Since then, he has encouraged younger audience to follow an acting career through Vine—and many “Vinelebrities” are sending the same message.
Now, most Viners finish high school and swipe left the idea of going to college. With all of this new social media, becoming famous is easier than ever. Will this affect education and literacy across the country?
Yes, it will. Not everyone succeeds in social media, and while Vinelebrities have found fame through their thousands of followers, not everyone is that lucky (although some of us would really want to be.) What they are doing though, is telling their young audience that they don’t need to go to college in order to be successful. They are unconsciously discrediting diplomas and higher education to take shortcuts, instead of promoting taking the secure path to climb to the top. They hope to get a helicopter ride to the peak of the mountain – which, come on guys, everybody knows helicopters are the first to go down in action movies, duh!
“For most people, internet fame is even more fleeting than traditional fame, because now people can be really famous for a couple months or a couple days, and then be quickly forgotten,” says Steinberg when asked about the effectiveness of Internet fame. “And sometimes it’s not even the people, it’s what they’re doing that people like.”
Yes, it has positive outcomes for the arts and develops a more creative mind, there’s no denying that. But who says this can’t be done while working to get a college degree? Our multitasking instincts can handle both. Knowledge is our most important tool in life. Not just for the undeniable good feeling of saying you’re smart enough to talk about politics, or find solutions to world problems, but also in the he fact that you can use this knowledge for many aspects of your life, from work to love to traveling to talking to strangers to giving an interview. In fact, college actually is a perfect place to establish and maintain connections for future endeavors.
“There are surprising numbers of highly educated people that are actors, and that’s how they became famous; they made connections in college,” emphasizes Steinberg.
Vine ideas? Do the classic “homework got me like…”, “college parties: expectation vs. reality”, or “when you consume epic amounts of coffee before a test”. It isn’t hard, guys—college is the new creative’s creator.
Photo courtesy of: pixabay.com