Student Struggles with “Fame”

Student+Struggles+with+%22Fame%22

Skylar Cross, Staff Writer

The issue of Insta-fame is one that goes highly unnoticed. Just imagine for a moment having the population of a small town following you on social media. Sergio Lopez, a sophomore at Santaluces, undergoes the constant burden of having to please some 16,000 people.

“I do feel pressure to act a certain way,” said Sergio, “it has brought a lot of attention that isn’t needed in my life.”

Most people enjoy the use of social media accounts–such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook–with its typical purpose is to connect to friends and family. In other words, people that you know. However, that is not the case for Sergio. He has this constant weight on his shoulder to post certain things for his audience of close to 17,000 people. Pressure is not the only issue he has encountered, he has also found that he is a pawn in several cases of Catfishing. 

Just as the MTV docu-series portrays, Catfishing is a recently founded phenomena in which people impersonate others and create relationships with online strangers. Nev Schulman and his friend, filmmaker Max Joseph follow the lives of people all over the nation who face this problematic situation. And among those, Sergio also has experienced Catfishing, but instead he is the identity that is stolen and used. 

“They [users on social media] pretend to be me,” he explained, “and create relationships with people and lead them to believe they are dating me.”

Because of this activity, Sergio has this overwhelming anxiety to always search himself, to then find fake profiles of people pretending to be him.

“I tried my best to get the fake pages down,” Sergio said, “but I can’t do anything about it, so I gave up. It was an endless fight.”

Most people would agree that having phony profiles made of them is not something that is an everyday worry. Additionally, many people don’t realize just how big of an issue artificial profiles are. Someone can create a realistic account posing as you while they engage in negative activity such as bullying and harassment.

“Sometimes they use my picture and that’s the image people see” he said, “so if the fake person is mean or hateful, people only see my face. And then that’s the wrong image someone created of me.”

Another problem that this so-called “fame” has caused him is false hope. Sergio is an aspiring model and has already had some small modeling jobs.

“That’s another problem I had,” Sergio explained, “My email information for modeling jobs on my Instagram attracted ‘fans’ of mine who would message me and pretend to be managers of big companies wanting to hire me.”

This has also lead to some trust issues, leaving Sergio slightly hesitant when people contact him on social media.

Although his large amount of followers comes with baggage, Sergio is learning how to deal with and control the issue to use it to gain support for his future clothing line. Sergio has hopes of becoming a fashion designer.

“Besides the impersonators, I feel like if I start a clothing line,” said Sergio, “it’ll be a great starting place to use my Instagram as a stepping stone for me to become a designer. It has pros and cons, and people should know that.”