The Sisyphean struggle for social media relevance

In Los Angeles, for every actual celebrity, for every person who had the rare and magical star power to get picked up and put into movies — there are probably a hundred people who are confident in their acting ability, but who were rejected by the industry.  The entitled ones don't give up.  They decide to get famous via hustle and gumption. 

The earliest version of this was Angelyne.  I remember actors talking about her in the late '90s, about how unethical she was for trying to force herself into Hollywood by having her boyfriends buy billboards with her picture and name.  Today's Hollywood hustlers don't need billboards; they use social media.  They get on there and come up with content to increase their follower count and likes. 

Empirically, this is an utterly tragic endeavor.  It's Sisyphean in that it's endless — they have to come up with something every few days just to stay relevant.  There are literally millions of people playing their game, and they will be forgotten if they stop producing. 

It's also futile because it never works.  Social media superstars Kim Kardashian, Logan Paul, et al....none of them are ever in any actual serious productions because their presence devalues the production.  When we watch films, we want to suspend disbelief and get into the script, a psychological state that's impossible to achieve if Kim Kardashian is playing one of the characters.  There's also the psychological principle of "familiarity breeds contempt."  For some reason, humans dislike those who constantly and relentlessly promote themselves and demand attention.

As I watch the coverage of Ukraine, I wonder if President Zelensky is like those social media folks I've met in Los Angeles, in that he overvalues the power of likes and retweets.  Ultimately, the war will be settled based on one thing and one thing only: the military competence of the two sides, and possibly the economic and other pressure put on Russia (although that could backfire on the United States and the European Union).  Social media are not really going to do much for Ukraine.

Image credit: Twitter.

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