Social Media Breeds a New Generation of Entertainers

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Graphic by Jaden Hiraga

Usage of socail media and the internet has gone up over the last decade breeding a new generation of internet stars.

Jaden Hiraga, Staff Writer

Over the past decade, entertainment has evolved via the internet giving rise to a new form of entertainment: social media. Born between 1996 and 2015 and growing up alongside the internet, Gen Z has used their talents to capitalize on the growing popularity of social media sites like Youtube, Tik Tok, and Twitch to make a living off of online content creation. These platforms have given this young generation the tools and hopes they need to make a name for themselves in the notorious entertainment industry. 

Social media was relatively obscure in its infancy, mostly being used by young people. This changed with the advent of Facebook in early 2004. Though isolated to only colleges in its early years, it reached its peak popularity in 2010 and ushered in a new wave of social media that are well known today. Lesser known sites like Twitter saw a surge in popularity while new sites like Instagram and Snapchat began to take off as well, giving rise to a less personal, and more commercial network dominated by influencers. 

An influencer, by definition, is someone who has previous experience in a field and uses that influence to endorse products to their audience. It is similar to a football player endorsing a sports drink on a commercial, only instead of appearing on TV, the endorsement would come through a carefully curated Instagram post, or a promotional ad in a Youtube video. Youtube and other video streaming sites also grew popular during this time, with creators using sites like Patreon, where followers of a particular creator can support them through monthly donations in exchange for special perks like watching videos early. 

The ease of access to these sites and their promise of fame can often lead teens to be disheartened when their posts don’t perform as well as they’d hope. Though it can seem a waste of time to pursue these dreams of social media fame, these dreams can teach lessons and skills about content creation and the internet that will last their whole lifetime.

Through social media content creation, teens have learned how to market themselves by emphasizing their personalities or skills. Other skills like public speaking, editing videos, photography, and videography all come with content creation. ”

These social media sites have given Gen Z the ability to create careers in the entertainment industry with minimal outside influence. While it could take an actor years and thousands of dollars to get a minor role in Hollywood, virtually anyone can start making content online.

Nothing exemplifies this idea as well as TikTok, a relative newcomer in the social media scene. It is extremely easy to start posting videos to TikTok, which makes it an ideal place for high school students to start creating content for social media. 

While it is easy to start posting to social media in hopes of finding online fame, it is hard to get a following. For most sites, there is an algorithm that decides which posts and creators to show to people on their sites. These algorithms can be difficult to read, and the short attention span of the internet makes hopping on trends to maximize exposure very hard. 

Though not everyone is going to have a viral post that will skyrocket their career, many people have made a living off doing what they love, and learning valuable skills while doing that.

Through social media content creation, teens have learned how to market themselves by emphasizing their personalities or skills. Other skills like public speaking, editing videos, photography, and videography all come with content creation. 

With the advent of social media fame many young people have sought and earned fame on the internet, or at the very least gained invaluable experience skills that will benefit for a long time to come.