The point of this post is this: we are all nothing but strangers. We are all individuals with our own dreams and needs and thoughts. There’s nobody out there that’s perfectly similar to me. But that shouldn’t keep us apart. That could be the ultimate reason to get to know others better, don’t you think?
A couple of days ago someone I didn’t know started a conversation with me when I was waiting for my bus. That’s actually quite common that strangers at the same bus stop say ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ at least if they see each other like every day. But this was slightly different, for her acted as we knew already and started to tell me stories of her life.
“Oh, it’s been twenty years since I traveled by bus last time”, she said. “I’ve started a new job and I thought I should try it again.”
I replied politely, but I wasn’t really looking forward to continue that conversation.
“What time do you travel back?” she asked.
Okay, well, this was going a bit too far for me. I don’t have anything against that strangers talk to me, but I’m not comfortable sharing info of my daily routines.
She didn’t see my uneasiness and kept babbling in very friendly way, and finally I found myself talking with her in the same manner.
And suddenly I was thinking celebrities. Ha. I always seem to think them. But this thought hit me like a lightning: to celebs everyone is a stranger.
Let me explain this little further.
Obviously I don’t mean their own friends or family, but just about anyone. And actually, if I think this more, everyone is a stranger to anybody, too. But I got this vision about a celeb, so let’s take a better view of it.
A fan feels s/he knows the celeb and wants to have a chat with him/her. All I have thought before is just this fan’s point of view: I love someone, have a deep respect for someone’s work and talents, so it’s the most natural thing to do, actually, to have a chat.
But now I suddenly realized that a fan is just a stranger to the celeb. Like this woman was to me.
I suddenly could imagine how it would feel for a celeb who isn’t prepared to meet fans and is suddenly bumped into them. This willingness of being polite, because that’s what’s expected, actually, but secretly wishing at the same time that the ‘somebody’ would just leave them alone.
Well, I’m not sure if they’re in some ready-mode all the time, because these are people who love them nonetheless. And this woman was not a fan of mine, I’m pretty sure about that. She was just being friendly and I actually enjoyed having this unexpected conversation with her when I managed to come over my instinctive hesitation.
I wonder if the celebs feel this hesitation, too. If they are wondering how on earth can they just bugger off without being rude. If they would just want to enjoy their free time alone sometimes. You know, I would!
This thought somehow opened my eyes. It’s always enlightening to see things from someone else’s point of view.
They don’t see inside our heads (of course if they’re not edwardcullens), they don’t know about the thoughts we have had about them (thank god), they don’t feel the love we’re feeling, they don’t know us. Let me say that again: they don’t know us. I know me, I know my thoughts, my respect, my love, my admiration – and in some way I feel this mystical connection to this image of a celeb I have made up in my head – and I think this person should feel it too. But you know what? They don’t know us.
We are just strangers to them.
And in the end, they are just strangers to us.
If we turn this another way around and try to understand this conversation through this woman’s eyes, what could we see? I think she just is that friendly and talkative and just thought that it’s nice to chat with someone instead of standing quietly and staring in the distance as no other person existed at all. Maybe she was a bit anxious to start a new job, to take a bus for a first time for twenty years.
But would she have started the conversation if I was, umm, somehow very different from her? If I had spiky purple hair and huge tattoos around my neck and I was wearing very short skirt and needles through my skin?
I truly don’t know. I have seen this woman several times after that and she seems to know just about everyone. So, I think it’s just her. She’s just that social person, so social it was a bit awkward for me at first.
How about the fan’s point of view, then?
I have been doing some research of my own in Twitter lately. I have been checking out the responses celebs get to their tweets. And suddenly I was thinking something like, gosh, do we truly think we own these people?
I got this strange feeling that the fans, umm, that it isn’t about admiration, or love, or respect anymore. It’s about possession. This particular celeb is mine. My own. Nobody else can touch him, speak to him, see him, or tweet him. And I want/need/will get him to answer my tweets, whatever I need to do, I’ll do.
It’s become somehow wild and aggressive for me, the way we treat our idols. And I find it bit confusing. I feel embarrassed when reading some responses. I mean, come on. If it is demanded to be like that to be able to call oneself a fan of someone, then you can count me out. I’m not one of anybody’s in that case.
I guess it’s about getting their attention. We all love them, and we want to be seen by them, but… You know. We don’t own them. Let me say this again: We don’t own them. We don’t. Just as they don’t know us, we don’t own them.
We have this image of them in our heads, and when it’s strong enough, it starts blurring with the real person, it starts to have an effect in our minds – not them, obviously, for they have no idea of our thoughts whatsoever.
It’s not our right of decision to make them, you know, like us back. They don’t have to. They do their own decisions, no matter what we would want them to do. And that is the reason we love them, actually, isn’t it? We wouldn’t want them in any other way. I wouldn’t anyways.
They are just as strange to us as we are to them. And they are real persons behind the image. Maybe we should keep that in mind when tweeting them.