Recently, I have been seeing more and more celebrities on social media platforms such as Twitter complaining that their privacy is being invaded online and that the only solution is to deactivate their accounts in hopes of feeling more secure. Although it may seem to these high-profile people that they have limited control of what is known about them, if proper precautions are taken, that is seldom the case. Deactivating Twitter accounts serves no purpose other than to stir more controversy and mystery as to what these celebrities are trying to hide. So rather than blame fans for being interested in the lives of the people who one moment are actively oversharing and then the next moment take exception to the level of interest thrust upon them, celebrities should be held accountable for what they choose to post online.
Long gone are the days that celebrities were simply known for what television show they appeared on or who they were seen doing in their time. Since the explosion and continued growth of social media that enables anyone to share and receive new information by a click of a button, celebrities have become a multi-platform brand. Not only are they associated with whatever show they appear on, but now they are also seen on commercials for different products that become associated with their name. Twitter has actively helped promote these peoples’ brands by allowing many to utilize the platform as a tool to increase awareness of a celebrity’s latest projects or voice an opinion on a trending topic. Increasingly though, many celebrities complain that their work and personal life do not have a clear boundary line and that fans are overstepping personal boundaries, leading to the abandonment of all forms of social media.
Although those in the public eye deserve some degree of privacy, I have limited sympathy when these people do not consider what they are posting and how it will impact them. For those celebrities who are afraid that they are not safe from the inherent lurkers on Twitter, I suggest that rather than deactivating their accounts and jeopardizing their careers, they instead refrain from using Twitter in any other way than one that is simply professional. The decision to share personal information with the public is entirely dependent on the person sharing the information, and therefore, they must assume responsibility for the outcome. Many public figures do realize that their privacy is entirely dependent on the personal actions they take when choosing what they want to share with the public.
According to The Guardian, when interviewed by Sky News, Daniel Radcliffe explained, “I don’t have Twitter and I don’t have 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, then no one is going to take that request seriously.” Radcliffe’s mentality is one that is rare but should be shared by more celebrities when they are contemplating how they will choose to engage on social media. Despite the fact that total privacy has become rare under most circumstances, being comfortable online is not out of reach for celebrities who choose to think and act wisely when choosing how to engage with the public. If only posting about recent projects that he or she is working on makes a celebrity feel more protected, I wholeheartedly support that decision because rather than oversharing and then complaining about privacy, he or she is behaving in a way that reflects being knowledgeable of his or her own accountability.