Pandemic reflections on the evolution of heroes on social media

The really successful influencers are the protagonists of the sitcoms we watched 15 years ago

By Giulietta Riva

Every week, regularly, as an auspicious revelation, comes the report of the time of use of my iPhone. It is always around 5h a day. Weeks with average daily of 4h49min, weeks of 5h02min. Instagram always in first place, in pole position with considerable detachment from its friends/enemies. A tiring but still realistic realization. I work on the phone, I get ideas, I get information, I study others, what they do and how they do it. 

So on Monday night, caught by the usual passive scrolling, I decide to try to sleep earlier than usual and you know, when you decide to do something to upset your daily habits in 90% of cases you fail. Note. 

From about 22.30 till about 1.00 my head is a playground of reflections more and less deep, in most cases not very sensible. On the one hand want to arrive at unexpected conclusions (mmmmh), on the other will to find stimuli to discuss the next day. 

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*Some personal news* I took a shower

Un post condiviso da Leandra (Medine) Cohen (@leandramcohen) in data:

Having recently dropped Instagram, one of the first questions was: "who wins today on social media and above all, what do I look for?" To win I do not mean remuneration of followers, like and comments no sense (the trend is micro and dwarf), how much will to know more about it. So I put myself in the role of the user that I am and I thought. 

One of the first elements that moves me is curiosity, the more the “hero” stimulates my curiosity the more it gains in terms of interactions, with constants required in DM. Questions that haunt the loyal user even at times when he should be more focused on his life and what he has to do. But you know, curiosity wins over everything.

Then, search for content. I go in search of dialogue, of what the other has to say. I look for and follow (I’m talking about people, not brand) someone who has the potential to teach me something (this also applies to brands), who tells me things that I do not know, that makes me enter his real life without useless patina and filters, that makes me remember episodes of MY past, but above all that makes me laugh.

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Looking effortless takes a lot of effort.

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Yes, Instagram has become my new television, the platform with which I have the most relationship of all, my almost boyfriend, and being so close I want it to be hilarious. 

Still, I am more satisfied at the viewing of video content, I go to the discovery of “heroes” that make the occasions in which I come across, need, that I speak in their language that is also mine and transform their living room in a part of my virtual house. Almost to be augmented reality: my house with their house inside or their house with my house inside.

Finally, I find people made just for me. Jokes that seem to be made to make me smile, filters used to be tested before my use, boyfriends put in the middle in the way I would do it, wrong recipes that would ruin the same way: customization.

So I had a spontaneous comparison with the sitcoms I was tied to 10/15 years ago, when a channel was the stage of my afternoons and offered formats taken from Canadian programs, with cuts not consequential, dictated by improvisation, dialogues based on revisable playlists, which seemed to enter the real life of the protagonists without unnecessary patina and filters… when the actors were my friends, my family, my trusty companions of idleness. 

And then I ask myself: what is the distance between the actors who, improvising because written in the script, animated my evenings and influencers that with a rhythm of 20/25 stories occupy my days? The naturalness that we find and in which we recognize ourselves on specific _ heroes" of the sector is improvisation dictated by guide lines or truth? Real life? 

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Orangggeeee you glad Scott went to the gym yesterday?? 😂 🍊

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And in the event that the dictates came from the height of other necessities, how can I be so similar, to behave in the same way, to show my things in the same way, to interact with my friends, with my friends, with my father, anyway? Are hyper personalized and hyper targeted content even those 15 seconds of stories, those that I find in the perfect fit for me?

But question of the question, this arrived at 1.10 pm on Monday night and for which alas no answer has yet been received: what will be our next “heroes”?