The release of stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton and other famous women this week shows everyone how much privacy we DO NOT have anymore. Okay, okay we are a music site and probably asking yourself, “why do I need to hear about Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton’s photos on All Axess?” Well, I understand your sentiment, but just give me a chance to explain how this all ties together.
Any entertainer who is starting off in the business has to build his or her name, most likely slowly, but sometimes there are exceptions of stars who “blow up” overnight. Since anyone can remember, celebrities have been adored and highly scrutinized under a microscope – that is their lives. With our society being so hyperconnected via the internet and social media, we have sacrificed our privacy and anonymity for convenience, efficiency and a collective being.
How is it possible to live in a private world, when everyone is joined together as a matter of necessity? Not only are we all integrated in one another’s lives, but even the people who do not use social media are still in the virtual system of life; think of all the bank records, how many places your social security or other national ID are required that can generate all the finite personal information that’s available about you. It’s just not possible to stay out of the system.
If someone came into your house and stole something of yours, the law would be strictly resolute and most likely prosecute the perpetrators of the crime. Hackers are the criminals of the 21st century and regulating them is really difficult as essentially, they are stealing intagible items built into an infrastructure, as opposed to the guitar or other physical items in your household. Just as a burglar would prefer to rob the house of a wealthy person, a hacker seeks to exploit the lives of famous people. The reward is that much better and in either case, worth lots of cash. Scores of sites requested to buy the hacked material even though it was stolen, illegal property. Wouldn’t that be exactly the same as having your stolen guitar sold to a pawn shop? I think so, as it was never anyone’s right to take it in the first place.
How does this tie in with being a popular celebrity? I believe – to a certain point – that anyone pushing their entertainment career must build up a loyal following online. Fans want to interact with their favorite celebrities and know everything about them. In the beginning of any career, any marketing (especially if it is free) is essential to growing a large following. Some stars reach that threshold where suddenly the world’s eyes are on them and they no longer have to participate. They say imitation is the finest form of flattery, and with all the fake or tribute social accounts that will spring up in lieu of an actual authenticated one, entertainers showcase the influence they have had on their fans. In the end, it’s either you doing it yourself or someone doing it on your behalf. I would rather know that I am represented as myself and not have someone else represent me (I am speaking in hypothetical terms and not implying I am on any level of fame that would garner this attention, of course!) That’s the price that some of these stars face, as everyday people are watching their every move and constantly trying to gain access to their lives.
The brass tacks of it are that it’s possible for someone to hack your life and to get into your personal space if they want to badly enough. It is alleged that the apparent hacker spent months in this case, trying to gain access through email accounts of people connected to these stars. You just cannot escape and at a certain point in your career, should you become successful enough, you’ll find yourself at the mercy of some very smart and talented people whose number one goal is to gain access to your life and exploit it if they can. The end result is that you either have to realize that everything that you do will be seen or heard and that you must be reticent about disseminating it into the universe, or live your life realizing that there isn’t anything that can stop people from trying, at the very least, to unearth private material.
The fame and crazy obsession is the unfortunate price that people seem to have to pay for becoming famous. It’s a complicated world we now live in, that’s for sure.