Celebrity Twitter accounts get personal

Justin Bieber is the most followed celebrity on social media. According to the website twittercounter.com, The Biebs has raked in a whopping 44 million Twitter followers. Bieber has almost 8 million more followers than the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

President Obama has pulled in approximately 36 million followers on Twitter.

In between Bieber and President Obama fall pop singers Katy Perry, with 43 million followers and Lady Gaga with 40 million followers.

Emma Contic / Graphics Editor

Emma Contic / Graphics Editor

Falling just behind the top four  most followed Twitter accounts are: Taylor Swift, YouTube, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Instagram and Justin Timberlake.

In recent years, social media usage has gone from virtually nothing to exploding onto the scene.

Two of the most popular social media sites are Twitter and Instagram. There are thousands of verified celebrity accounts on these social media sites.

With millions of followers, and hundreds of posts, these celebrities give the public an open-eyed look into their personal lives.

Celebrities also create an image for themselves that may not have been seen without the usage of social media.

“It’s totally something that could ruin their career, like Amanda Bynes for instance, where she is talking about having intercourse with Drake. Or it could help with promoting stuff. It’s a make it or break it situation,” Marta Morris, a sophomore at Keene State College said.

Celebrities also create somewhat of a more personal relationship with their followers by having the ability to follow fans and reply to their comments.

“I was pretty pumped,” Karen Cooper, KSC senior, said. Cooper is followed on Twitter by both American Idol finalists Haley Reinhart and singer-songwriter Cady Groves. Cooper follows other celebrities on social media such as Britney Spears, Ke$ha and Amanda Bynes.

“I could care less,” Morris said about being followed by a celebrity on social media. Morris said she does not follow very many celebrities. “I follow a lot of house music,” Morris said.

As mentioned by Morris, social media can either make or break a person and some celebrities are having very public downfalls.

Virtually every person has heard of, if not directly seen, Amanda Bynes’ recent mental breakdown.

With her constant Tweets calling others “ugly” and saying she wants rapper Drake to “murder my vagina,” it was not long until her downward spiral began.

“It makes me happy when I’m depressed,” Morris said about Amanda Bynes’ public meltdown.

These odd antics went off for several months until Bynes’ parents and authorities stepped in. However, they did not intervene until the former child star lit an elderly woman’s driveway on fire as well as accidentally catching her dog on fire in the incident.

Now Bynes has been on a 5150 psychiatric hold, where she has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

According to Dictionary.com, Schizophrenia is “a severe mental disorder characterized by some, but not all of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions and hallucinations.”

Bynes has been treated for her mental illness and is making progress.

Although her very public antics came as a shock to many people because she had not been directly in the public eye for some years, Bynes’ image seems to be thoroughly wrecked.

Justin Bieber is yet another example of a celebrity who is slowly hurting his image by his Twitter and Instagram posts.

The troubles first started when pictures of Bieber smoking marijuana and drinking illegally surfaced on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. These pictures stirred up such an outrage, Bieber’s followers, or “Beliebers” as they like to be called, began cutting their own wrists in order to make him stop. According to an article from gossip.com, Biebers fans started the Twitter hash tag “CutForBeiber” to protest the pop stars recent antics.

Did the Beliebers extreme message work? Apparently not. In an article from September 12 posted by TMZ, a celebrity entertainment news website, Bieber allegedly smoked so much marijuana in his SUV on his way to the airport, the pilots noticed.

According to the pilot, who was a source in the TMZ article, Bieber was “baked out of his mind” and even compared Bieber to well-known weed junkies, Cheech and Chong.

Just a few weeks before, TMZ released a story on a video Bieber posted to his Instagram account, where the pop star is clearly high. Smoking weed and underage drinking were just the start of Bieber’s bad public image.

Just a month ago, TMZ broke the news that naked photos of Justin Bieber had hit the web. The photos show a naked Bieber covering his private areas with a guitar.

According to TMZ, Bieber took these photos as a “prank” for waking up too late on Thanksgiving morning. He thought it would be funny to serenade his friends and family wearing absolutely nothing. Just months later, these photos hit the web and became very public.

Social media has had such an impact on celebrities’ images and their careers. Had social media been as popular years ago as it is now, some celebrities may not have been able to pick themselves back up from their troubles.

For instance, Britney Spears was able to clean herself back up and make a full comeback.

Just six years ago, in 2007, Spears had her infamous public meltdown where she shaved off all her hair and began hitting paparazzi crew with umbrellas.

Though this incident was made very public, it could have gotten much worse. Had she been Tweeting or Instagramming photos, her image could have been completely wrecked.

The ultimate question, for many, about celebrities on social media is: should they be more censored?

Cooper said she thinks most celebrities have a positive image on social media.

Morris said she thinks that celebrities should not have to censor their posts. “You have to think, they are people. It’s their Twitter account. It’s like saying if we’re posting stuff that is too personal as well,” Morris said.

“Twitter shouldn’t be something that is censored. It’s a freedom of speech issue. That is the point of Twitter. It’s supposed to be personal. I don’t think they need to be censored. I think they need to censor themselves,” KSC freshman, Joseph Paul said.


Shannon Flynn can be contacted at  sflynn@keene-equinox.com

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