Social media is no longer just about sharing photos and keeping up with friends. It is turning into a network of commercializing, advertising and building a self-brand. Social media marketing deals with the process of gaining profit or attention through an array of websites. Many socialites are gaining fame and wealth by creating a trademark out of their usernames and profiles. Although many use social media as a crutch to interact with the outside world, plenty of users choose not to hide behind the screens and instead use social media to mass communicate, as well as advertise.
Social media celebrity Claudia Oshry, also known as the “Girl with No Job,” makes her living posting whatshe calls “relatable memes” on her Instagram. Oshry said, “Having no job is my job.” With over 2.8 million followers on Instagram, she is part of the rising class of social media celebrities. Posting five times a day every day for two years, she said, contributed to her steady growth of followers. Partnering with big brands and promoting products can net Oshry anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per post. The climb of social media fame also fosters the attraction of companies looking to sell their products to young social media users and influencers like Oshry.
A number of young men and women are also establishing careers in modeling, getting paid to post selfies. These individuals do the opposite of hiding behind a cell phone or computer because they choose to capitalize off of their identity. Instagram models take full ownership of their newfound careers with a simple media account. These “Instamodels” have explained that social media is an immense part of their relatively young lives, and they embrace their societal growth.
Another popular social network that is booming with individuals who are willing to expose their real selves is the world of YouTube. A countless number of people are creating YouTube accounts to share their talents, opinions and aspects of their everyday lives. Many popular YouTubers are profiting off of the amount of exposure they receive through subscribers, views and likes. Families are also starting to broadcast their home life, vlogging (video blogging) their everyday routines. YouTubers choose to air their personal lives — some as hobbies, others as professions — and connect with the world beyond the keyboard.
Whether it is Vine comedians becoming movie stars or selfie-takers becoming models, social media users are advancing from the publicity of mass media. Despite the number of people who rely on social media as a disguise, a vast number of users are laying it all out on the table for the world to watch.
Freshman journalism major
Printed in the 2/7/18 issue.