This 19-year-old person is Chris Walsh, a college student from Virginia who likes to put up lots of semi-naked pics of himself on Instagram, and thank god for that. In what may be a case of wild hyperbole, wishful thinking, grandiose self-worth, or a potent cocktail of all three, he refers to himself as "The Star." I'll cut him some slack for that. After all, he does have about 67,000 Instagram followers who like looking at pictures of him, and after all, I am one of those people. (Or how's this? Maybe it's ironic self-deprecation!) On YouTube, where he has a much smaller audience, he makes videos with his boyfriend Joe. Yes, sorry boys, but he's taken. Did I mention that he's an aspiring singer, and has a full album of songs that (as far as I can tell) are only available on YouTube? Your mileage may vary.
Friday, September 23, 2016
As many of the last generation of social media superstars age out, get better gigs, fall in disgrace, or wear out their welcomes, a dewy new generation rises up to replace them. This new group, who I consider to be social media's third generation, may be even more facile, shallow, and unoriginal than the last, but by golly they are pretty, and I guess that's really the important thing. Mikey Barone, age 17, made his name on YouNow. His bromantic partner Bryce Hall, 16, is most famous for being on Musical.ly.
This is Mikey:
And this is Bryce:
I always think of YouNow less as where you go to become famous, and more of a place for the famous to interact with their fans in relative safely, but I guess not, and the fact that Musical.ly, which is nothing more than a lip sync app, is even a thing, let alone a thing that has the power to create "stars," makes me weep for the future. Of course, Mikey and Bryce are also on Twitter and Instagram, and appearing on meet and greet tours, were fans pay exorbitant sums to be in their presence. And they are on YouTube, making the exact same videos that Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas were perpetrating on the public four years ago: asinine "challenge" videos, "truth-telling" sessions that devolve into bragging about their sexual conquests, videos about messing up hotel rooms and throwing food at each other. They frequently pretend that they are going to kiss, but pull back at the last minute, just so you know that they aren't really, well, you know. They are such close friends that they even have their own portmanteau, Brikey, which is just as thoughtful and original as the rest of their act.
I guess they do possess some charm and charisma, and they are pretty, there's no denying, but would it be to much to ask for someone who put minimal effort into their videos, who displayed some kind of self-awareness and intellectual curiosity along with their regular jejune antics? Again though, pretty.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Nineteen-year-old Colby Brock is, with his childhood friend Sam Golbach, one half of the popular Vine team Brock and Colby. I find their content to be particularly banal, sometimes borderline offensive, and unoriginal, and their participation in one of the infamous Sam Pepper's most controversial staged "prank"videos makes me question their judgement and taste. But you don't get 2.6 million subscribers without having something going for you and in Colby's case it could be his big, blue eyes, bright smile, and frequently displayed torso. As a fundamentally shallow person, I probably won't spend much time looking at Sam and Colby's Vines and YouTubes, but I'll be perfectly happy looking at his Instagram pictures, a selection of which are below.