Going Viral: Can Internet Fame Be Considered As Valid As Real Fame?

Jan 13, 2020

Interviews & Inspiration | Daniela Pisciottano

‘Fast and Easy’ isn’t always the answer when it comes to success. The internet era, however, has created a platform that gives everyone a level of visibility that was never imagined before.

Social media has brought this amplified visibility to a higher level, giving a shot to notoriety to more people than ever.

The steps leading to internet fame seem pretty straightforward. You (or your work in most cases) happen to go trending on social media – very likely to be Instagram or Twitter – and your visibility skyrockets. Thousands of followers find their way to your profile and your photos are inundated by an insane number of likes.

Of course, it is essential to remember that this overnight fame isn’t something we will all experience in our lifetimes; truth to be said, internet fame seems to be a one in a million type of thing.

But if we take a closer look, we soon realise that there are a few measures we can take to boost our opportunities.

First and foremost, you must create a strong online presence for yourself, your business or your art. And while that in itself won’t take you far, it sure does wonders in increasing your chances of becoming the next big thing. Being online and regularly exposing yourself from a professional point of view is like buying a lottery ticket – you may not win, but you still have more chances than those who decided not to purchase a ticket in the first place.

Unlike lotteries, however, fame should be something not purely based on luck but rather on a combination of elements; hard work, talent, luck and connections. Generally speaking, you were born with a talent (which you can always improve with devotion and perseverance), you put in the hard work and expose yourself on social media, waiting for the next steps to follow. Over time you keep growing your audience and making connections with prospective colleagues, clients or even fans. But you need that last ingredient to tip things over. Luck; one small thing that could decide your future. All you have to do is hope that the right people start sharing your work and things might change for you.

If one the one hand most people decide to purchase a ticket for this virtual fame lottery, others have found ways “speeding things up”.

Rather than buying one lottery ticket and hoping to have all the trumps, some people decide to boost their odds by taking shortcuts. Some of them legitimate, others not so much. A good example of the not-so-legitimate ways of attracting more attention online is by producing clickbait either with vlogs, blog posts or even tweet chains. While producing clickbait is not illegal, it doesn't mean that it is ethical. There have in fact been many occasions in which YouTubers, bloggers and other influencers used the power or clickbait (by producing misleading headlines) to generate more traffic towards their websites and social profiles.

If respectable newspapers and tabloids can produce misleading headlines daily, so can these virtual celebrities. Right?

Finding success online in most cases will require perseverance, passion and devoting a few hours of your time every day to simply exist online. So, while most people decide to put their faith in their social profile and wait to see if they are good (or lucky) enough to be discovered, others recur to more practical methods.

Internet fame is something attainable but the question stands, is it a legitimate type of fame or rather a "Halley’s comet success" that will fade away before you know?