Social media is so ubiquitous it’s unusual when someone doesn’t use it. While some readers will probably roll their eyes, anyone with a sense of perspective will agree that if that someone
is an attractive male celebrity, we need to stop the presses and ditch the cover story on Syria: This is important news.
However, it’s Valentine’s Day so I’m
writing about it.
The list of heartthrobs who eschew social media includes George Clooney, who told Variety that he will never join Twitter because “I could easily say
something stupid, and I also don’t think you need to be that available.” Admitting that “I like to have a drink at night,” Clooney went on: “God forbid, you take a
sleeping pill and wake up and the sentences don’t even make sense. What a horrible idea.” Just in case this isn’t clear, in the December issue of Esquire, Clooney said:
“I think anyone who is famous is a moron if they're on Twitter. It’s just stupid.”
There's a lot of morons out there.
Another dreamy social media
abstainer is Benedict Cumberbatch, he of the absurdly Dickensian moniker. The star of “Sherlock” and “The Fifth Estate,” as well as Ricardo Montalbán’s successor
as Khan in the new "Star Trek" franchise, told an audience at an event hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts that he avoids social media. He is afraid “it would take over my
life and probably ruin it.” On the other hand, Cumberbatch expressed appreciation of the tremendous live response that greeted “Sherlock” on Twitter and blogs.
in November, fellow British actor person Daniel Radcliffe, of "Harry Potter" fame, told Sky News that celebrities who want privacy have to avoid social media or end up looking like hypocrites:
“I don't have Twitter, and I'm not on Facebook, and I think that makes things a lot easier because if you go on Twitter and tell everybody what you're doing moment to moment, and then claim you
want a private life, no one's going to take that request seriously,”
OK, I can hear the question a lot of you are asking: “So what?”
Well, it strikes me
that young adults are more likely to be influenced by celebrities, and these screen idols are modeling behavior that might get their fans thinking about the role of social in their own lives. While
some of their reservations are specific to celebrities, for example complaints about privacy, others -- like Clooney’s concern about posting something irrevocably stupid, and Cumberbatch’s
fear of an all-consuming addiction -- are true for anyone. Its actually pretty good advice.
Will anyone stop using social media because Khan doesn’t? Probably not. But if it
prompts their fans to take a step back from their own social-media obsessions, even just for a minute, it would be a public service.