Last week I attended a Social Media Week panel at Viacom on the future of social interactions between fans and entertainers.
*I want to come clean up front, while I was very intrigued by the title of the event- the fact that Nev from Catfish was speaking may have been the true reason I decided I had to attend.
The event kicked off with a panel of millennial super-fans that were recruited by MTV’s insights team. I thought this would be boring, but was pleasantly surprised, and found this to be the most fascinating part of the night.
The panel of young girls each spoke intimately to the crowd about their celebrity obsessions (some of which included One Direction, a Kardashian, and the MTV show Awkward) and how close they felt they were to them through social media. MTV’s research team labeled this theory “zero-distancing.”
The gals spoke passionately about how upsetting it is when One Direction’s management tweets for them (from the punctuation in the tweets, duh. Another girl spoke about how close she was with Khloe Kardashian (she even sent a get better tweet last week when she had the flu…) It became evident they truly believed tweeting with these stars qualifies them as their best friends.
Which tied nicely into the celebrity panel that followed with the creator of Catfish (the MTV show about people who fall in love online, but haven’t ever actually met.)
On the panel, Nev Schulman (Catfish), Drita (Mob Wives), and two other television personalities spoke about the same phenomenon the super-fan panel discussed, but through the lens of the ‘stars.’
It was interesting to hear from them about how much they valued their fans, although I have to admit nothing particularly groundbreaking was said (but do have to give it up to whoever organized the panel, their chemistry was definitely entertaining.)
While I would definitely attend this type of event again, I did have one main gripe. After the celebrity panel finished, that was it.
We were allowed to take pictures (which of course, I did) but they didn’t open it up for a q&a session for the audience.
For a panel themed around fan and entertainer interaction, I just found it a bit odd that although they invited us to connect with them online, we couldn’t ask questions while we were right there in real life. It was a bit of an oxymoron.
Then again, maybe I was just the upset since I’ve been wanting to ask Nev if Catfish was real since I saw the first episode, who knows…