Is it bad to follow celebrities?
Many people have a strong urge to follow someone.
A concerning number follow celebrities which can have a detrimental effect on their lives.
The list below shows the share of Internet users as of 2018: 1
- 72% of 16-24 year-olds follow celebrities.
- 64% of 25-34 year-olds follow celebrities.
- 50% of 35-44 year-olds follow celebrities.
- 40% of 45-54 year-olds follow celebrities.
- 30% of 55-64 year-olds follow celebrities.
Those numbers are incredibly high and quite worrying that many celebrities are not good role models and their shares are not based in the real world.
1. Who do you follow?
Do you follow celebrities, sports people, etc? Who do you think is great?
Perhaps it’s a singer or an actor.
What is it about them that makes you want to be like them?
But a lot of the attraction for that person can be due to all the advertising and hype and not because that person is particularly great.
They become amazing because of all the publicity they get on TV, on the Internet and in magazines.
They are good at self-promotion.
2. Do Generation Z and Millennials follow celebrities?
We may have heard of these definitions but what do they actually mean?
Generation Z means “the generation born in the late 1990s or the early 21st century, perceived as being familiar with the use of digital technology, the internet, and social media from a very young age.” 2
Generation Z is “also called Gen Z, zoomers, iGeneration, centennials, post-millennials…” 3
A Millenial is “a person born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s; a member of Generation Y.” 4
Gen Z’s ties to online celebrities are clear—especially compared to Millennials…‘How Much Gen Z Cares About Online Celebrities, In 5 Stats’ YPulse 5
Three in five follow online celebrities/creators on social media.
The majority of both generations follow online celebrities (defined as bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, social media stars, etc.) on social media, but Gen Z is more likely to do so, with 60% of 13-18-year-olds saying they follow them versus 54% of 19-37-year-olds.
That’s more Gen Zs than follow Hollywood celebrities, musicians, or athletes.
When it comes to what kind of online celebrity they’re following, Gen Z is also more likely than Millennials to follow social media personalities, gamers, fashion bloggers/vloggers, beauty influencers, and aspiring musicians…”
So there is a high percentage of younger people who follow celebrities and are influenced by them.
3. Why unfollow celebrities
I like Zulie Rane’s blog: “Why Celebrities Aren’t Worth Your Follow: The psychological reason you should unfollow all celebrities on social media.”
We’re surrounded by rich, famous people who have nutritionists, dietitians, personal trainers, hundreds of dollars’ worth of daily skincare routine products, airbrushing, and plastic surgery, nearly none of which they show to us on their social media.‘Why Celebrities Aren’t Worth Your Follow’ Zulie Rane’s blog on Medium. 28 April 2019. 6
It’s unachievable, but invisibly so.
We feel like we know everything about them, so we believe if we just stare hard enough, pay attention for long enough, believe with enough gumption, we can be like them, too.
Even though our brains know better, that doesn’t stop us from staring and hoping that we could be like that too, if we could only crack the code.
Pair that with the highlight reel of social media: people only post the good stuff about their life.
You won’t catch an influencer telling you about their raging diarrhoea — you’ll only see the gorgeous shots of a holiday on the beach.”
Zulie has said that she no longer follows celebrities.
The problem with spending time reading all this stuff is that we start to compare their lives with our own, but the celebrities have a manicured, false avatar.
That celebrity avatar is not real and is greatly filtered to show just the best bits of their lives.
We are not seeing a real lifestyle.
Many celebrity lifestyles are only skin deep, shallow and vain.
Do not spend hours watching celebrity lifestyles, it is a waste of your time and will lead to discontentment.
4. Is Jesus a celebrity?
What publicity machine did Jesus have? …
He didn’t have the TV, Web and magazines.
But people followed Jesus and are still following him.
As of the year 2020, Christianity had approximately 2.38 billion+ adherents out of a worldwide population of about 7.8 billion people.‘Christianity by country’ Wikipedia 7
It represents nearly one-third of the world’s population and is the largest religion in the world…”
Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
Okay, many didn’t and others followed for only a short time.
But don’t you think that it is surprising that anybody followed Him at all?
Imagine going up to people and saying “Follow me!”
How many would follow you or me – probably none!
But there was something very special about Jesus, something very distinctive about Him.
And that caused different reactions to Him.
- They either hated Him.
- Or they followed Him.
5. Why was Jesus either followed or hated?
Jesus’ life either attracted people to him, or they hated him for who he was.
- It was because Jesus didn’t SAY the wrong things
- He didn’t DO selfish things
- He didn’t have cruel, or proud THOUGHTS.
His life was like a light shining in a dark place.
We are thinking bad thoughts and doing wrong things and are therefore on the edge of the darkness or right in the darkest place.
An example of this is in John’s first letter:
But if we hate others, we are in the darkness; we walk in it and do not know where we are going, because the darkness has made us blind.”1 John 2:11 Good News Bible
The apostle Paul explains the difference between the darkness and the light:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.Ephesians 5:8-14 NIV
Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
This is why it is said:
‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ “
When Jesus came, his life was like a torch going on and some people rebelled against him and moved away into the darkness.
Others saw the light, they trusted Jesus and ran to him:
This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.John 3:19-21 NIV
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
Jesus’ life is a pure light because he is the Son of God – he is perfect.
Imagine you are a little child and your mum has made a wonderful, tasty, iced cake celebrating Christmas and it will be eaten the next day.
Then, when everybody had gone to bed, you creep down in the semi-darkness.
And you try a little piece of it, … and then a bigger piece.
Then your mum suddenly turns the LIGHT ON! You’ve been caught!
What do you do? You either:
- hate her for turning the light on and catching you
- or, you say you’re sorry!
6. Our lives are laid bare by the light.
His perfect life was like a bright light.
People felt that their lives were suddenly laid bare before God.
They only had two choices, either:
- They hated him for exposing their sin (their wrong things).
- Or they TURNED to him and asked him to forgive them.
Nothing has changed, we all now have the same choice as them.
Those who followed Jesus then, and those who follow Him now, love Him.
The reason is that he is the only One who can forgive our self-centred lives.
If we willingly follow Him, He becomes our new Master and our Lord.
Do you want to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
References – open in new tabs:
Walking image: thanks to Serif ARTGallery CD