I say this with no shame. Watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians is definitely my guilty pleasure. I enjoy the excessive drama presented on reality television and I can’t help but laugh at their stupid arguments and their first world problems. Out of all the characters of the show, however, my favorite is Scott Disick, Kourtney Kardashian‘s on and off fiancé. This reality television star, who gained fame by being in relationship with Kourtney, is mostly known for being drunk and picking a fight with everyone in the Kardashian family. He gets thrown out of parties and restaurants for causing a scene, walks around with a cane as a fashion item, and titled himself to be a Lord while visiting London. His extreme wealth was passed on by his family, and in the show, Scott makes it obvious that he has never really worked for a penny in his life. The things that he best at doing, as one can assume by watching the show, is drinking, partying, shopping and being a bad boyfriend/fiancé. He is a lovable villain in the show, audiences just expect to him to act out and be a douche, but still learn to love him.
Though no one might take Scott seriously, people seem to find him funny and entertaining. He is not a huge part of the celebrity Tweeter scene, but for being a person who gained publicity through being someone’s boyfriend, he has a lot of followers and likes on social media platforms. On Twitter, Scott has 2,582,363 followers, and on Facebook, his fan page has 125,406 likes and there are few other Facebook pages dedicated to Scott, such as Scott Disick Memes and Scott Disick’s Cane. There is no exclusive content or performance on Facebook, but it is mostly re-posts of his Tweets. There’s nothing too special about his tweets – it’s mostly about having lunch with the Kardashian sisters, pictures of his new boat and cars, and promoting his businesses and club appearances.
Based on his social media performances, mostly from his performance on Twitter, we can categorize his online identity under the authenticity statement described by Hugo Liu in his article, “Social Media Network Profiles as Taste Performances”. Liu explains that an authentic profile is usually associated with a “relaxed style and display of slight imperfection” and that an authentic profile isn’t “overly verbose or coherent” or conventional (264). Scott’s usage of colloquial language, swear words, slangs and lower-case letters shows the incoherency of his Twitter profile.
In general, his tweets are very boastful and vain, or slightly offensive. He often refers to himself as “Lord” Disick, and retweets memes of himself that his fans created. He does not try to hide his “douchiness” or vanity, just like he does on the reality show. The similar characteristics of his identity in the reality show and on Twitter assures his followers and fans that it is actually Scott tweeting, not anyone else.
Marwick and boyd, in their article “I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience”, discuss the concept of imagined audiences. They explain that because Twitter is a “heavily-appropriate technology, which participants contextualize differently and use with diverse networks”, there is multiplicity of imagined audiences, and therefore context collapse happens (122). However, Scott doesn’t really seem to care who reads his tweets and clearly isn’t afraid of people hating him. He doesn’t present anything much different from his reality television persona on his Twitter account and is not concerned about the multiplicity of his imagined audiences. However, this careless characteristic of Scott’s Twitter account can be also seen as his effort to seem more “authentic”. Marwick and boyd explains that Twitter users “continually monitor and meet the expectations of their followers”, in order to build audience (126). So Scott can be embracing the techniques of micro-celebrity, while using Twitter, to communicate with his fans and to maintain them. In other words, Scott is extending his public image of an immature and careless party-goer into his Twitter personality, since that is what is best know for and why his fans like him.
Discussing why people tweet, Papacharissi says in “Without You I’m Nothing: Performances of the Self on Twitter”, that tweets are “creative and literary” and “they are embedded into social routines essential for forming and sustaining connections between communities that are both imagine and actual” (1993). Scott often retweets Kardashian family memebers and has conversation with them via Twitter. He also randomly retweets public posts of his fans and @replies. So via Twitter, Scott is communicating and sustaining his relationship with both his imagined (mostly his fans) and his actual (the Kardashians) communities. His tweets about his public appearances, promoting his new NYC restaurant and its events (though he is not involved anymore) are examples of sustaining both his imagined and actual communities since it is informational for his fans, but is promoting his actual life and his social routines.
Hence, he uses technological affordances allowed by Twitter to maintain a relationship with both his fans and family.
Personally, I find Scott to be hilarious. Granted he says ridiculous things and makes a scene from time to time, he is still an interesting and funny character to watch. There’s a twitter account solely dedicated to what Scott says (@ScottDisickSays) and a Tumblr (Classy GQ) that compiled his memes and images. Scott might not be present “authentically” on other social media platforms other than Twitter, the other social media profiles and accounts dedicated to him indicates that people actually care enough to make these profiles and put time into it. Despite all the reality television drama, people seem to accept him more than just a sidekick in a Kardashian television series and just a troublesome boyfriend.