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The fame game is a double-edged sword - reality television, Twitter and Facebook bite back

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Georgia Salpa - Irish model in "Celebrity Big Brother"

Channel Five’s Celebrity Big Brother has once again underlined the extent to which the term ‘celebrity’ has become meaningless. Full of the usual mix of fame hungry has-beens and wannabes, the show is simply a circus showing the inflated and often fragile egos of the contestants as they contrive to win the affections of the viewership.

The depths some people will go to gain notoriety or ‘fame’ is incredible, just ask Natasha Giggs. You would think after being caught having an affair with her husband’s brother, Ryan Giggs, she would want to lay low for a while. But now she is on Big Brother one would hope chasing fame rather than ignominy.

Dublin’s beautiful Georgia Salpa is also hoping her appearance on the show will help her take the UK by storm. However, she is now finding out the hard edge of reality TV after becoming one of the first people (along with some other z-lister) to face eviction.

But while Georgia is one of the lucky ones as she has little to lose and lots to gain career wise by her exposure on national television, most people have little idea of what a double-edged sword the pursuit of fame can be.
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Sinead O’Connor’s talent is unquestionable, but the same cannot be said of some of her life choices. And while we all make mistakes and errors of judgement, few would want to broadcast them. However, thanks to Twitter Sinead’s life has become something of a media circus.

But while on one hand she tweets freely about intimate elements of her personal life, which are willing snapped up by the media, she gets highly irritated when journalists begin to focus too much attention her. This led to the headline in this week’s Sunday Independent — “Don’t f**k with me or my husband.”

The problem is when it comes to courting media coverage it is not simply a tap that can be turned off and turned on when it suits.

But just like Celebrity Big Brother, mindlessly embracing Twitter or indeed Facebook is more likely going to turn you into a sucker rather than a star.

Labour leader Ed Milliband was the latest to put his foot in it when he tweeted a message regarding the death of Blockbusters’ former host Bob Holness with the line, “A Generation will remember him fondly from Blackbusters.”

But while there are plenty of public figures and celebrities seemingly only too happy to enter the Dumb Tweet of the Year Awards, it is the public’s lack of awareness of the power of Twitter that is shocking.

One idiot has thankfully been arresting this week for racially abusing former Liverpool footballer Stan Collymore via Twitter. While in the US a 16-year-old employee of the pizza chain Papa John’s was sacked after referring to a customer as “lady chinky eyes” on a receipt and then posting it on the social network site.

While we may mock the crass wannabes that are willing to suffer the humiliation and mental torture in a desperate bid to save or start their careers in the Big Brother House, many are willing to ruin their lives or suffer the double-edged sword of media intrusion all for the sake of a dumb Tweet or foolish Facebook post.

However, even for established stars reality television is now so mainstream that its pitfalls almost seem unavoidable.

Singer Brian Kennedy just last week got caught in the line of fire of reality television. He allowed the Daily Mirror’s entertainment reporter Paul Martin get under his skin and ended up throwing a glass of red wine over him during the celebrity version of Come Dine With Me on TV3. But why should such a talented performer be dragged down to the same level as a British tabloid hack? The show’s producers obviously knew what they were doing when inviting Martin and Brian sadly took the bait.

The fact is that while reality television, Twitter or Facebook can give you instant notoriety, it is important to beware — they often bite back.

"Big Brother's" promo:

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