THE BLOG

From Gossip Mags to Mobile Apps: Connecting Strangers to Stars

03/20/2014 03:31 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Everywhere we turn, every magazine we read, every advert we see, they are visible and abundant. Trying to sell us the newest revolutionary lipstick, eradicating child poverty in Africa, or promoting their most recent film, celebrities are everywhere and have become a billion- dollar industry for internet sites, magazines and more recently, mobile phone apps.

Even reality shows have become more and more popular and we are eating it all up. More reality shows means more people with seemingly no talent are becoming famous making the average person believe that they too, can be in the public eye; if they are interesting, unique or funny enough of course.

With innovative phone apps being created and videos going viral on YouTube every day, the idea of an average person gaining celebrity status is becoming increasingly realistic. We have seen this "celebrity culture" explode in today's society. Blogs and other online forums are giving everyday people a voice and in turn a chance to express their opinion on the dress Scarlett Johansson wore to the Oscars or Lindsay Lohan's newest DUI charge.

When I was younger, this celebrity obsessed culture existed however it was a lot less tangible than it is now. I'm sure back in the day if rock and roll lovers could follow the real Elvis Presley on Twitter they would. In fact, over 600,000 people today go to visit Presley's home in Graceland which is kept as a shrine in his memory. Decades after his death, he is still loved and missed by thousands of people who I'm sure if they had the chance, would have liked him on Facebook too.

Celebrities seemed a lot more distant than they do now. Their private lives were actually private. We didn't know what restaurant they enjoyed dining at, what their drink of choice was or who they got into bed with at night. Years ago we had to wait for the latest gossip magazine or simply take what the studios told us as fact. In many ways this helped us better focus on the talent rather than the person.

Having a mobile computer literally in your pocket and being able to access any website at any time in any place, seems to make our lives a lot simpler. It also makes tracking celebrities and keeping up with celebrity gossip a lot more accessible.

Lots of young people want to play a part in this booming celebrity culture and new apps like Exley, for example, make it all the more promising. This specific app has revolutionized the way we absorb celebrity gossip and gives us all a major role in developing it.

Exley will let you know of every single celeb sighting, breaking news story in your area down to the city based on your location all with your help. For example, if Will Smith is drinking coffee at a Starbucks in Toronto, users in that demographic are able to release content about the sighting making it easily discoverable. In other words, whatever you post has the potential to go viral which is exactly what today's "need to be famous" culture is all about.

Connecting to and being close to your favourite celebrity is now in your own hands... literally. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to take a sneak peek into their favourite A-List celebrities life and nowadays it's becoming a whole lot easier. Celebrities and their status make us all want to be part of their circle. Sometimes just to be close other times like Roman spectators we await their ultimate doom as they flame out. Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen even Rob Ford come to mind. I suppose failure makes them just a little bit more human.

But as long as people buy, magazines will sell, paparazzi will chase and new apps will surface. Whatever our fantasies we are caught in the celebrity trap. Is it any wonder then that celebrity television, online chatter and apps like Exley are today's tools that keep us close to stardom?