A couple of months ago, many NFL players protested President Trump’s recent statements by refusing to stand for the national anthem. This controversy created quite a stir over social media, which drove participants to take action on both sides. Players felt more emboldened after of the support they got on Twitter and other social media sites, which prompted them to keep doing it. Over the past month, many players have not stood for the national anthem.
This is the latest example of social media shaping the entertainment profession. Entertainers across the world have embraced social media over the last few years, but the national Anthem controversy shows that it is being taken to a new level. They are recognizing that they can either benefit by taking advantage of social media or have their careers wrecked by painting themselves in a bad light.
Here are some ways that social media will continue to change entertainment for years to come.
Fans will feel more connected to celebrities by engaging with them on a personal level
Before the turn of the century, most people never imagined that they could talk to you a celebrity and expect a response back. Some people might write letters as a fan, but they never expected a response.
Social media has changed that in previously unimaginable ways. People can follow celebrities on Facebook or Twitter and leave replies in real time. If their replies are interesting enough or get plenty of shares, they may actually get a response in return.
By having to wait conversations with their followers, celebrities will come across as more genuine.
Celebrities champion social causes
More and more, celebrities are becoming active champions for various social causes. Leonardo DiCaprio is a strong advocate in the fight against climate change. Jennifer Lawrence speaks strongly on many prominent feminist issues. NBA celebrities are pushing for greater racial equality.
Celebrities are able to make their voices heard louder than ever before. They can use social media to engage and promote very important social causes.
The entertainment industry is becoming more transparent
It is much harder to keep scandals headed than it used to be. If a celebrity engages in domestic violence or another scandal, it will be shared all over social media in a matter of hours.
This is forcing people to see their favorite celebrities in a more humane way.
Social media gives amateur commenters a platform for discussion
When television was the primary medium for entertainment, only professional commentators had a voice. The only way fans could hope to be heard was by writing letters to the other order of their favorite entertainment columns.
Social media has completely changed the script. Amateur journalists can create their own blog and Facebook posts to get their voices heard. If they break something original enough, it can be picked up on social media and go viral. They can even gain traction through automatic Instagram likes. Viral stories are often shared on popular news outlets as well.
The biggest implication of this is that the professionals working at the entertainment industry no longer have complete control of the narrative. They must have a more flexible position to avoid alienating people that follow prominent bloggers and social media influences that cover the entertainment industry.