“Is Cara Sue Achterberg a real celebrity or famous person?” This is the question that Facebook posed to me as I set up my Facebook writer page. I’ve put off the task for some time, but every time I attend a seminar, read an article, or watch a tutorial about developing your writing career I’m assailed with the recommendation to build your own website or at the very least have a Facebook page. So, in the interest of conning the IRS in to believing that I’m a serious writer (even if my writing income can still be counted in less than four digits), I’ve created the page:
Impressive I know. So far there are only a few posts, but it’s only a matter of time before I fill it with the details of my writing endeavors – successful or not.
But back to the question at hand - Am I a “real celebrity or famous person?” The options are “yes” or “no.” There is no “that depends on who you’re asking” option. Because if you ask me or my 10-year-old, I am famous – if by famous you mean “known to or recognized by many people” and you define many by more than a few. I have had my picture in the paper. The question seems a bit rude, really.
And what constitutes a “real” celebrity? The dictionary says, “a famous person.” But what makes someone famous? There is a line from a country song which says, “Everyone dies famous in a small town.” I live in a small town, and while I’m not dead, a lot of people know my name. This is due to the fact that I’ve been a PTO president, written a column for the local paper and articles for several national magazines, coached a girls running program, led workshops on organics, have a child with a rare autoimmune condition, and have openly declared myself a democrat in this overly red county, even campaigned for the occasional candidate. And then there’s the sheer face time I’ve gotten while shuttling my three overly active kids to events, concerts, games, meetings, classes, and clubs. We all know each other, or at least we all recognize each other in my small town. You see the same faces again and again. So, can I check the “yes” box? Am I famous?
And if I check “no” will I be able to go back and change my answer if I ever write a New York Times bestseller and become FAMOUS? Precious time wasted on one silly question. And how judgmental of Facebook to separate the “real” celebrities from the rest of us. What will I gain if I declare myself a celebrity? I tried to find out, but Facebook was very vague about it, saying only that checking yes will make it easier for people to find me on Facebook. Well, isn’t that why I’m creating the darn page? Famous, not famous?
Why is that the only question Facebook asks when you set up a fan page? Shouldn’t they ask more important questions like – will this page say derogatory things about entire groups of people? Will this page promote the use of violence? Incite religious groups to protest? Will this page have pictures of cats chasing lasers? No, all they want to know is are you a real celebrity or famous person?
And, honestly, why do we care so much about famous people? Especially famous people who are only famous for being famous? Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian come to mind. It taxes my heart and mind to think of the hours and effort wasted by educated people tracking the activities of people like Kevin Federline.
Being famous is overrated, says the writer who wishes she were. At any rate, I’d love it if you checked out my new fan page and “liked” me. Yes, I’m aware that I sound like a junior high girl asking if you’ll like me, but there it is. Getting famous makes us do things we don’t think we’ll ever do.