© 2019 - Josiah Dean Williams / JDeanWilliams Productions 

Celebrities Should Do Much More with Their Cultural Influence

October 16, 2014

Social media, as an entire “industry,” has some of the most impacting power in the history of our world. A shared image, a seven-second video, a three-minute song, or even a text-based post can go “viral” in no time, available for the entire world to see!

 

Celebrities, as their own “population” or “class,” have some of the strongest influence in our world today. These individuals star in well-known films, create songs that capture our hearts, are athletes on our favorite sports teams, and we tune-in weekly to see them in our favorite shows.

 

Combine the two, and what do you get? Oh, you know… Just an incomparable, incredible about of power… The ability to impact an entire target audience… Millions and millions of fans who continuously refresh their online browsers and mobile apps, waiting for something new from their favorite stars…

 

Take a second and truly think about how much power we’re actually dealing with…

 

Social media goes beyond a new way to keep up with friends… We’re talking about a complete shift in communication, self-expression and public interaction… And throwing celebrities in this social media movement gives them access to literally influence nations of people… all across the globe.

 

Now, think about all of the issues that our world faces…

 

Think about the people who have no idea what’s going on in the world, but can tell you everything about their online presence… Think about those who would rather read their Facebook timeline instead of watching local news headlines… There are people who have no idea what the three branches of government are, but can tell you the top three tracks on the Billboard charts… There are young adults who would take time to vote for the VMA’s, but won’t move a muscle for the local elections…

 

Most areas of the world are dealing with life-threatening illnesses, poverty, hunger, uneducated children and adults, racism, police brutality, severe weather, armed conflict, terrorism, low access to clean water, etc… and so many of us are too wrapped up in our social media to even notice.

 

That’s where the celebrities can step in.

 

Let’s take a look at Beyoncé, for example…

Here we have a woman with more than 65,500,000 Facebook likes, over 19,000,000 Instagram followers, and over 13,600,000 followers on Twitter… She appeals to so many audiences! Many women want to be like her, and many men dream about a having a woman like Beyoncé. She’s obviously huge in the music industry, has done television appearances, is deep in the film industry, is the wife of a Hip-Hop/Rap legend, and is an entrepreneur (just to name a few).

 

Bey has the power of a million people in one. She released an unannounced, non-promoted, self-titled album, and it sold more than 828,000 copies in the first three days. Do I really need to write another sentence for you to read, explaining what a powerhouse move that is?

 

Imagine if she decided to block a week out of her calendar, dedicate it to a single cause or organization, and show her support through social media? She could tweet fun facts, statistics and links to gain more insight... and all of a sudden, knowledge is cool again.

 

The Beyoncé album release only further proved her power & influence on our generation. But what if her music had powerful messages to young women around the world? She releases this album, and it includes songs about leading a positive life, being a strong woman, self-respect… She would have truly changed the game, and the world needs that right now!

 

If all of our favorite superstars took this charge with their social media, there would be an undying thirst for more… In this world, celebrities could keep their fans updated with current events… They could lead discussions about topics they’re most concerned about… I’d love to see runway models tweeting about a healthy and realistic body image… I dream about TMZ respectfully asking celebs about the news, instead of bombarding them over rumors… Contemporary radio would have much more to offer than drugs, sex, money and parties… Rap artists could speak about having respect for women, etc.

 

I realize that there are many superstars linked to social movements and organizations. However, I also believe that they can be doing so much more. Many of these celebrities will take action when needed, and then return to their regular lives, contradicting their actions. It doesn’t sit well when you support women’s rights, but use derogatory language when referring to yourself and/or other women... It doesn’t sit well if you’re supporting gang prevention, and then you’re seen throwing up gang signs a week later… Why star in a safe sex advertisement if you make songs about having sex with multiple women, without condoms?

 

It’s not about being “perfect.” It’s about making better choices with your outreach, and being selfless.

 

Our world is suffering… My generation is the next in line to take charge. Many people my age are socially unaware, extremely distracted, and in need of some motivation.

 

I strongly believe that our celebrities have the power to begin change in our hearts & minds, and can influence their followers to become much more in-tune with important issues.

 

 

 

 

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