Was the title too cheesy? I couldn’t resist. But truly, when it comes to celebrity social media presence, there are few who come to mind (particularly because a lot of them aren’t even managed by the celebrity but by a third party). One of them, though, is Adam Levine and his Twitter. This might be because he’s one of the few celebrity accounts that I do follow and his tweets are actually constructed and posted by himself (unless there is a manager somewhere who fancies imitating Adam by making him out to be a fan of Breaking Bad and calls Thailand “shwwwwweaty“). This aspect, though, is why I think Adam has so many followers and has, for me, a notable presence on Twitter.
The biggest factor as to why I still follow Adam’s Twitter is probably the fact that it has personality. The tweets aren’t generic “come check out Maroon 5’s new album” over and over again: they are quips about his every day life, his experiences on tour, etc. Adam’s profile statement is “man in a suitcase,” written in lowercase and is a somewhat obscure statement. He is that cool guy in school everybody wanted to be friends with and probably was. Hugo Liu would call this display of personality an authentic taste statement, based on Liu’s article Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances. In other words, Adam displays a sense of authenticity, or the profile is representative of him, his tastes, and so forth. Adam seems to be one of us, another human being who watches TV shows, comments on the stupid catch phrases of our generation, and spends time on the Internet. And that goes along with the image he presents in interviews and on show appearances as well. That same rebel-esque attitude transcends through to his social media presence and makes us feel comfortable following him and helps us feel like we really know who Adam Levine really is. In a sense, he makes us feel like we’re friends and that’s why I continue to follow him. He isn’t a pretentious celebrity or taking it to a lower level by allowing the 140 character limit to defeat him (à la Kate Gosselin).
Online social platforms collapse or converge public and private boundaries… Performances of the self thus become networked performances that must convey polysemic content to audiences, actual and imagined, without compromising one’s own sense of self. (1)
Because Adam is very much in the public eye as himself (concerts, interviews, as a coach on The Voice, etc.) there is more pressure and expectation for his online presence to match that of his offline one. These platforms beAcome facets of one big Adam Levine personality indicator. If something was awry the image Adam would be different and would somehow seem flawed. The idea of personality performance would become more evident if his Twitter personality did not match his concert personality or his TV personality.
[There is] an ongoing front-stage identity performance that balances the desire to maintain positive impressions with the need to seem true or authentic to others. (124)
While they go on to say that there is no such thing as a real authentic persona, as we shift to match our audience (imagined or real), I would argue that Adam’s consistency in personality through multiple media outlets argues for a general image of who Adam is and what is authentic of him. While it may all be a performance, we still believe we know the authentic Adam Levine.
So what are the benefits of creating an authentic persona? The biggest factor, if not evident by my own continual following and fangirlism, is the fact that he seems like a real person. He presents himself in one way/with a linear personality across all media platforms that he participates in and that makes the audience feel like they know him. In turn, they are invested in his tweets and are more apt to care about what he has to say.
And what can I say? I like the personality he offers, authentic or not.