Being Instagram famous is just like being regular famous, except you’re not rich, relatively few people actually think you’re famous, and the benefits are limited to being recognized in the mall every so often.
I know this because I watched a healthy chunk of the documentary “Instafame.” It inspired me to (possibly) coin the phrase depressinating. Because it’s slightly more depressing than fascinating.
It follows a 15-year old boy named Shawn, who has gained tens of thousands of followers on Instagram.
It’s definitely not the most profound piece of documentary filmmaking ever entered into the human consciousness, but it brings up a good point. There are so many people now who have become “micro-famous” or “Internet famous.” And because people over 30 think it’s stupid and ridiculous, that means it’s the future of everything.
Once you start to understand that Shawn is famous not because he has some sort of talent or because he has anything relevant to add to the public discourse, the doc really starts to fade. It’s the exact same type of teen idoldom that has been occurring since Elvis shook his hips on national TV. Except instead of singing songs, Shawn takes selfies.
There’s a lot of trepidation from some adult nerds in the documentary about how this fake fame might be affecting Shawn’s psyche. Luckily, this dude is taking his fake fame in stride.
“I’m still the same person I’ve always been,” Shawn says. Good. Because we were worried there for a minute that a 15-year-old’s moods, personality, likes and/or dislikes might suddenly change.
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The documentary isn’t overly long (thank goodness), so challenge yourself to get through it. I lasted to 8:41 before it dawned on me that I had been punching myself in the face since the 6-minute mark.