The like generation

Users go to lengths to achieve social media fame

Jessica Sommerville | Staff Writer

makeoverPhoto contributed by Umaize Savani

Do it for the vine, tweet, Snapchat, Instagram pic, tumblr post — Generation Like wants it all.

On May 27, junior Umaize Savani tweeted, “100 rts and I’ll turn in this essay tomorrow.” A picture revealed his essay contained only a popular meme; and after 148 retweets, Savani submitted it as the cover page of his English assignment. The gamble kick started Savani’s media reputation.

“That (was) in the early stages of my media presence,” Savani said. “It was just building a name…that was when I had 300 followers, and now, I’m almost at 750, so I basically doubled.”

Once the initial jump has been taken, Savani said it is easier to be recognized and receive further acclaim.

“I was funny, and I knew that if I could bring it to social media, other people would know around the Tri-State, so that ups your public relations,” Savani said. “From Twitter, I met a lot of people, made a bunch of friends, so I definitely think it was worth it.”

According to Savani, fresh takes on the latest trends, like Transformation Tuesdays and Throwback Thursdays, are crucial to maintaining popularity.

“You (have) to have variety, and it has to be something new,” Savani said. “A lot of it’s already on the Internet, so you have to reinvent what’s already there. And if there’s a fad, like transformations and stuff, you (have) to hop on that, but do it better than anyone else did.”

Savani said he hopped on to the makeup transformation trend by posting a photo of himself transforming into One Direction’s Zayn Malik for 200 favorites. According to junior Juan Tramontin, who has over 800 Twitter followers, photos like Savani’s are popular because followers can see the humor. Tweets with photos are some of Tramontin’s most favorited, including one concerning Mason City Schools.

“Last winter, during the polar vortex…people thought we were going to get school off because it was too cold to just be outside walking,” Tramontin said. “So, I had a funny tweet toward Mason (City) Schools, and it was a picture of Lord Farquaad from Shrek. And it said, ‘Some of you may die, but that is a risk I’m willing to take.’”

Despite the risk of retribution from the school district, Tramontin hit ‘send’ and attributed this tweet’s success to its relatability.

Even the funniest tweets won’t receive high numbers of favorites, however, if they aren’t seen by a wide audience. According to sophomore Cameron Schweitzer, students use apps in order to gain followers.

“There (are) a lot of apps that you can get followers for,” Schweitzer said. “You have to go and follow random people, and the app makes them follow you back automatically.”

Despite an increase in followers, Schweitzer said these apps aren’t useful to bolster Twitter fame because the bought followers won’t like your photos. Though not all followers are active, Savani said having a vast Twitter audience comes with perks.

“(It’s) having the ability to say something and know that 700 people are going to listen to it,” Savani said. “Having the ability to voice your opinion to a lot of people is pretty cool.”