When Andy Warhol, the most famous artist of the mass media era, said that everyone in the future would have their own fifteen minutes of fame, he had no idea how close he'd get to the truth. Social networks were decades away. Now that they're here, we can see that all it takes is creating the correct type of content at the right time for anyone to blow up in the social sphere and get their minutes under the limelight.
The one thing that still needs to change about the nature of fame is the downsides. People who spend their time under the public's watchful eye are prone to attract the wrong kind of attention from the wrong people.
Jackie Leigh's experience with the ups and downs of online fame started shortly after her online presence began to get a following. "I wasn't expecting it to start happening so soon. I always thought that it starts when someone gets hundreds of thousands of followers," she recalls. "At first, it was fairly normal. People in my school wanted to take a picture with me. Then it turned more into bullying."
Jackie's experience is what several teenagers experience when their social media presence grows: they want to protect themselves from negative energy. Her first instinct was to try to play it down.
"A lot was going on at home at the time. My mom was undergoing an operation as part of her cancer treatment," Jackie Leigh says. "So, I was trying to make it out as if it wasn't a big deal, even though it was. Eventually, I couldn't go back to school, thinking about the bullying, so I decided to take my classes online."
Since the times she had to go through this, Jackie Leigh's life has changed for the better. The fact that her online following grew only helped, as she felt it gave her the backing up she needed to justify any offline popularity she might be experiencing.
Luckily for her, Jackie Leigh's healthy attitude towards her self-image never got her into any obsessive comparing online models sometimes do. It's too easy for anyone creating content online to start looking at the picture-perfect pros with all kinds of retouching on their images and develop a sort of envy. That's another downside of being Instafamous that she's not acquainted with. "I can go up and down in weight and not be too stressed about it because weight fluctuates. It's perfectly normal," she explains.
As for the downsides of online fame she lived through, they didn't nudge her one inch from the road she chose for herself.
"It only made me more determined and driven to do what I do," she says. "I'm a quiet person, but I don't lack confidence. Of course, people will talk, people will get jealous, and people will not understand. But that's fine with me – I just want to keep doing what brings me the most joy, creating content."