Does familiarity breed contempt (and breakups?)

July 9th, 2009 by sidewinder Leave a reply »

It seems that regular old, every day fans aren’t the only ones who have to worry about what they post on their Facebooks, MySpace pages, Twitter accounts, and other social networking sites–especially if they post them publicly, or have friends who might do so. In an age where more and more celebrities are embracing and using such social networking services themselves, slowly erasing the walls between themselves and their fans, sometimes they can get in a good deal of trouble for it as well–or at least, earn the ire of some of their (previously?) devoted fans.

Just look at Ryan Ross from Panic at the Disco. Panic, part of the Fueled by Ramen group of bands currently popular on the bandom scene, is noted for their high internet presence, including having an official LiveJournal community and in a sense “breaking the 4th wall” between fandom and themselves. As was mentioned in an earlier blog post, the band just announced a split on July 6, after many rumors, blog posts, and tweets by friends and associates including Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy.

This crap, well, really hit the fan in the band’s fandom after a July 8 posting to Oh No They Didn’t – screencapping someone’s Facebook photo gallery which appeared to show Ryan Ross and friends indulging in cocaine. 14 pages of comments have followed, many using this as an excuse or reason to blame Ryan for the band’s break-up.

What’s the real story? Who knows. But it certainly doesn’t breed good PR at a time like this to have images like that hit the ‘net. Just another lesson in discretion for this modern internet age. For a long time, I’ve heard many in media fandom state how they purposefully avoid going to guest conventions and other places where they might encounter the stars of their favorite movies and shows, that they prefer to “keep their distance” from the “real thing”. Perhaps the time will come as well that many in bandom wish to know less, and not more, about the musicians they are great fans of–and the trend of public twittering and facebooking by such celebs will die down. I’m not sure, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

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