Celebrities and Social Media

Michael W. Smith
(Photo : facebook/michaelwsmithofficial)
Michael W. Smith

Celebrities of both the Christian and mainstream variety use social media to reach out to fans, share their thoughts and their lives. The fact that they use Twitter and Facebook is where the similarity ends. Christian artists stick to news and updates, personal anecdotes and thoughts, favorite Scriptures and they even recommend music by other Christian artists. Reading those tweets, you'll find posts like:

  • Christy Nockels - "Get this into your hands & heart today from my friend @matt_redman. Beautiful songs for the Church."
  • Joe Rickard from RED - "Today was a crazy day. My best friend ever @PrestonPohl was on The Voice & KILLED IT! And I launched a clothing company. Wow. Thank u Jesus."
  • KJ-52 - "Jason from @building429 wins best dressed rocker onstage.. He also had a wardrobe malfunction of said outfit…" (don't worry - the malfunction is completely G rated!)
  • Lucas Parry - "Getting ready for #passion2013 tour tonight. Can't wait!"
  • Michael W. Smith - "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come! Rev 4:8"
  • Rick Heil from SONICFLOOd - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. #Bible"
  • TJ Harris from Decyfer Down - "so if u wake up really early, MTV is MTV. Reminds me of 15 yrs ago when they played music videos all the time. But where's the rock?"

While most mainstream celebrities stick to the same "share news and relevant stuff" script, others use social media as their own personal boxing ring.

  • Amanda Bynes - Before being hospitalized for psychological issues and having her twitter access cut off, Amanda Bynes' meltdown gained her 2.5 million twitter followers. Her rants and attacks of other celebs were fodder for comedians and late night talk-show hosts. Her targets were -
    • Drake (After letting the world know that she wanted his body and apparently not getting a response/date from him, she flipped saying his eyes made him look as though he has Down Syndrome and calling him ugly)
    • Jenny McCarthy (Jenny suggested she get help. Bynes fired back calling her ugly.)
    • Courtney Love (Courtney tweeted that Amanda should "pull it together, dude" and got "Courtney Love is the ugliest woman I've ever seen. To be mentioned by her at all makes me and all my friends laugh!" as a reponse.
    • Rihanna (The R&B singer didn't fire the first shot. Bynes tweeted that she looked "so ugly tryin to be white" followed by "Chris brown beat you because you’re not pretty enough” out of the blue. When that didn't get a response, she kept on attacking with two more vicous tweets. Rihanna responded to the tirade by saying, “Ya see what happens when they cancel Intervention.”
    • Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen tried to point out that retweeting the train wreck posts didn't help because it condoned and enabled the "scary and poor behavior." Bynes responded by calling her "an old ugly model."
  • Jimmy Kimmel - When Jimmy Kimmel spoofed rambling and confusing Kanye West interview on his show, West launched a Twitter attack. Kimmel, to his credit, didn't respond to the rants online, instead using the extra spotlight time to talk about a non-profit he co-founded called The San Gennaro Foundation. He joked on his show that he was finally in a rap feud.
  • Justin Beiber's bad behavior not only hurt his mom, it also got him some virtual slaps by other celebs. Drake Bell and Olivia Wilde tweeted fairly mild comments and while the Beib didn't respond, his fans did - with death threats!
  • Katy Perry dared to comment on a song by Keith Cozart, better known as the rapper Chief Keef. While she didn't call him by name, she did say “Just heard a new song on the radio called ‘I hate being sober’ I now have serious doubt for the world.” The 17-year-old rapper apparently didn't believe she was allowed to share a negative opinion because he tweeted a grossly offensive sexual suggestion of what she could do followed by the threat that he would physically attack her.

The big social media war of the day is between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor. After Miley told Rolling Stone Magazine that her "Wrecking Ball" video was a "modern version" of O'Connor's video for "Nothing Compares 2 U," and the Irish singers phone starting ringing off of the hook from reporters wanting comments, Sinead spoke out by writing an open letter to Cyrus on her official website. The letter was beautifully written (despite a few curse words) and obviously from the heart. This was no "click-by attack," meant to demean the 20-year-old singer; it was a heartfelt plea to wake up and stop letting the industry strip her down (literally) and prostitute her rather that just supporting her talent.

Miley's response was as quick as it was hateful and mean-spirited. She popped off a tweet comparing O'Connor to Amanda Bynes complete with two year old screen shots from O'Connor's timeline where she was asking for mental health center/doctor recommendations. While many of her 12 million fans stayed out of it and some even took her to task over her hatefulness, over 6400 people retweeted the post and over 7000 favorited it.

Sinead responded on her Facebook by saying, "Ms Cyrus has today posted tweets of mine which are two years old and which were sent when I was ill and seeking medical help. She has done this in an attempt to deliberately cause me harm and hurt. I wish to confirm that I am quite well and kindly request people cease e mailing me in the mistaken belief these are recent tweets. Ms Cyrus' lawyers will be contacted by mine regarding this matter. I confirm also that I do not at all support or condone the abuse or mockery of those who have been brave enough to openly discuss mental health issues. Mockery causes deaths. Period. It is an unacceptable form of bullying, no matter who it is doing the bullying."

In what has become typical, "I'm too important to really engage with more than 140 characters worth of my time" behavior, Miley tweeted, "I don't have time to write you an open letter cause Im hosting & performing on SNL this week." She followed up with, "So if youd like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter. :)"

Responsibility is usually reinforced by accountability. If there is no one holding you accountable for your actions, chances are good that you will have no motivation to change them. The media loves a good "train-wreck" and will plaster it all over the TV and the headlines. Why? Because they know that you, the viewer/reader will watch or click or read. Ratings will go up and sales will skyrocket making advertisers who will pay big money flock to get in on the feeding frenzy. Why do we, the viewing/buying public, not say "Enough!" and stop feeding the madness? Is it because seeing a celebrity fall apart before our eyes or get as catty and nasty as they can makes us feel better about our own short-comings?

Tags : Christy Nockles Red KJ-52 Lucas Perry Michael W. Smith Sonicflood Decyfer Down

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