I’m in Hong Kong and my wife and Children are out here with me. When we walk on the streets with my daughter sitting on my shoulders many people stare and point. Over the weekend we went to a beach and people were pointing their camera and taking photos of her. None more so than the mainland Chinese in their coach parties. It’s not every day they see a blond three year old with a riot of curly blond hair. And it bothers me. Who are they to take pictures of my children. Some peope ask and I generally refuse. I begin to get a feel for what I might me like to be a celebrity. There is however, a lack of consistency in my approach. Why will I not let the Chinese tourists take photos, yet I post my own on Flickr for all the world to see? My rationale for Flickr is to let family members to see our pictures, but they are in the public domain.
We live in (the UK) a world where 1 in 7 teenagers wants to “be famous” when they grow up. Not “be rich” as is used to be – there was an implication of effort and graft in that statement, no-one got rich by doing nothing at all. But now it is possible to get rich by being talentless and doing nothing but being on a reality TV show. A sad state of affairs I feel. And anyway, who would want to be famous, to have random people pointing at you and sticking their camera phones in your face? I certainly didn’t like my brief experience of that.
But then I must wonder. With social networking is there an element of all of us wanting to become famous? I’m broadcasting to the world who I am via flickr, through my blog (and I watch how many subscribers I have and strive for a higher ranking within technorati). I look at google analytics to see who is visiting my site (Hello Hanoi, Singapore, Kuopio and Buffalo). I increase my professional network on Linkedin. Maybe I put my videos of myself on Youtube or MySpace. It is all about creating a personal cult of fame. Maybe I don’t like the TV version of it, but I think that on the web I’m hooked. I do want to be famous. Grrrrrrr.