A Question for Another Day

I’ve been doing musician, artist, and celebrity interviews over phone (and now Skype) off and on for over probably six months now, and I have to say, I think I’m finally getting the hang of making it a conversational interview rather than straight-up questions.

Part of it is that I try to write the questions so they flow more organically. I try to gauge how the interview will go, how some questions will be answered, and arrange my questions to that sequence. Part of it is just practice, I guess.

But my one big hang-up (no pun intended) is still how to end the interview. So far, I just say “Well, thanks for talking with us today” if I’ve come to the end of my questions and there’s not really any opening left for continued conversation. That, to me, feels cold and impersonal, but after all this time I have not figured out a better way.

I’ve asked the other writers for the website for advice because it’s a very supportive team, but I feel like I’ve failed by not figuring it out myself. I guess it goes back to when I was a kid and school came easily to me for the most part; if I ever had problems understanding something, I was frustrated beyond belief. This problem doesn’t quite have me at that level of frustration, but it’s getting close.

One day soon I’ll know the answer. But for now, it’s a question for another day. (See? I don’t even know how to end a blog post properly lol)

When celebrities say good-bye…

Okay, so I’ve seen quite a few tweets lately on my Twitter feed about a certain actress deleting her Twitter account due to wanting to be more private. Some people are downright devastated by this! Why? Why the obsession? Why cry or lament over a person that you may have met in passing (or may never have met at all) deciding to keep their private life private? Don’t celebrities have that right?

I, for one, have never felt that celebrities are obligated to engage in social media. If they choose to do so, fine; I’ll follow the ones I like and enjoy their occasional posts. But if they decide to leave social media (or forgo it all together), what right do I have to get upset? Would these fans get upset if their distant cousin twice removed on their mother’s uncle’s in-laws’ side decided on a social media blackout? I doubt it.

Celebrities are people, too. I think this is something that gets forgotten, because their lives are so widely publicized that total strangers may become deluded into thinking that they “know” the celebrity enough to be “close” to them. Sure, they may retweet something you tagged them in (or even–*gasp!*–reply!), but that doesn’t mean they know you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll remember you after the retweet button is pressed.

Now, I’m not saying that this doesn’t happen. I’m sure it does on rare occasions. However, in these days of social media saturation I think it’s important to keep a realistic mindset of things. You may see so many “backstage” photos or fun facts that you think, “Hey, he/she gets me. They know that I’m reading this, know that I care about them, know that I’m following their every online move. This is not necessarily the case.

Some celebrities do follow fans and keep track of the goings-on in their lives, but it’s rare. Most have so many fans that they simply don’t have the time or resources to read every single tweet or message. If they’re shooting a film, writing a book, or recording an album, they may not have the luxury of sitting down to a computer, tablet, or smartphone and scroll through thousands upon thousands of notes, tweets, and messages. Is it nice when they do get the chance? Sure. Should it be expected of them? No.

I respect the actress’s decision to pull away from social media and take a break–or a permanent hiatus. It’s her right. If she were a normal average Joe, few strangers would feel the heartbreak that I’ve seen expressed over her leaving.

When a celebrity chooses to go off-grid, let them be. Understand that they may already be hounded by paparazzi and the media in general. Respect their privacy. And realize that they’re not doing it to hurt or upset fans; they’re doing it to regain some semblance of a normal, private life.