Would you forego a job as a lawyer or doctor to become a household name? Well, more than a quarter of millennials would, according to data found by social media network Clapit in a joint effort with research firm YouGov. Even if they wouldn’t outright quit their jobs, a little under one fifth of millennials have secret aspirations of becoming famous. Even more jarring, the research suggests that a few of them would even disown their own family if it meant they would become famous. Like how famous are we talking?
It’s no surprise that the study revealed that many millennials would quit their jobs (or not even get a job) if it mean that they could become famous. This is a generation raised on reality television shows like The Jersey Shore and YouTube stars like Jenna Marbles and PewDiePie.
It seems like everyone has their own reality show or YouTube channel — it’s a culture where everyone assumes that they will get their fifteen minutes of fame sooner or later. It’s a generation of young adults who have always had access to hundreds of channels and a lightning fast internet. From the Kardashians to the Vanderpumps to Roman Atwood, millennials are inundated with reality stardom from a young age. It’s no wonder they expect to get their own piece of the proverbial pie.
For millennials, fame isn’t even limited to television. Gen X’s only hope for fame (sans discernible talent) was to be cast on MTV’s The Real World or Road Rules. Now, those hoping to become a viral sensation need to look no further than YouTube. The research echoed this as one out of eight millennials say that they know more about famous social media personalities than actors and actresses from the stage and screen.
“There’s no doubt that social media is making fame more desirable than ever before for today’s generation,” says Mary Jane Bulseco, Co-Founder of Clapit. “Social media platforms have democratized the talent discovery process, allowing for people of all ages and talents to share their work with the world.”
The research was gleaned from an online survey (because millennials love social media) that was completed by 2,450 American millennials. A few more disconcerting facts from the research include: one out of nine millennials would rather be famous than get married, one in ten would rather be famous than get a college degree and one third of the polled said that they would rather be famous than become a lawyer. Okay, that last one seems pretty reasonable.
Findings like this definitely won’t dissuade anyone from starting a YouTube page or Instagram account in an effort to become famous. But, they call it “fifteen minutes of fame” for a reason. Fame is fleeting and the world of social media is fickle and constantly changing. For those trying their hand at online or reality star fame, you better have a backup plan. Might we suggest a college degree? I mean, just in case it doesn’t work out like you planned.