“Social media technologies let people connect by creating and sharing content” (Marwick and Boyd, 2011). Everyone a part of the social media phenomena takes their online persona quite seriously. Consumers build up their online persona to showcase to other users how they want to be perceived by the public. It is even possible for consumers to change their real life persona online to how they really want to be seen by others, or ever use it as an outlet. For example someone might have an online blog all about “Star Wars”, however in real life they tell everyone how much they love “Legally Blonde”. This is an example of a presentational media paradigm, how one might want to present themselves to others online and how they manage relationships with the digital objects they engage with. The theory of presentational media paradigm also includes what backgrounds/layouts consumers select, the language they use, and the images they upload in order to clearly present not only themselves but what they believe should be a part of their popular media expression.
The representational media paradigm on the other hand expresses how one is represented online giving others someone/something to look up to. Celebrities are the perfect example of representational media paradigm properties as they are constantly within the public eye and set standards for what consumers are involved within in social media (eg: who they are re-tweeting, liking, commenting on). Celebrity can be conceptualized as a practice through platforms such as twitter as celebrities select what appears on their online persona creating a relationship or sense of intimacy with consumers. Celebrities encourage consumers to look up to their persona by participating with followers, acknowledging fans and making direct connections. Another example of this, going back a few years when James Dean was made famous through platforms of media the sale of leather jackets and cigarettes boosted as a result of how the character was represented within the media and how consumers aspired to copy their celebrity status. “Networked media is changing celebrity culture” (Markwick and Boyd, 2011) as consumers are now empowered through social media to which celebrities they favour and opens the doors to which they publically criticize.
Marwick, A. Boyd, D. 2011. To See And To Be Seen. Celebrity Practice On Twitter, [Online]. 1, 40-43. Available at: <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/370596/mod_resource/content/1/Celebrity%20Practice%20on%20twitter.pdf> [Accessed 12 May 2015].