The growth and popularity of social media has meant that the meaning of “famous” has changed quite drastically quite a bit. These days, a person can claim fame by virtue of having millions of subscribers on their YouTube channel, hoards of followers on Twitter and Instagram and thousands of friends on Facebook… all without having appeared on TV or even possessing a unique talent.

A short documentary by Sylvain Labs in partnership with Greencard Pictures titled, Instafame, explores this trend with a look at the relationship teens have with fame on Instagram. It follows 15-year-old Shawn Megira from Long Island who garnered over 50 000 followers on his first Instagram account and opened a new one which now has over 13 000 followers.

 Megira is so popular that strangers follow him and ask to take pictures with him when he is out at the mall and some teen girls comment with offers to bear his children.

Instafame asks questions related to the nature of fame and why so many young people see it as the ultimate measure of success.

“With these kids that experience a lot of fame,they get a very strong high because of the attention, but it’s not fulfilling what they deeply need and want in terms of the human connection,” says Niobe Way, professor of development psychology at the New York University.

“I think that there are a lot of reasons why this might be a phenomena, but some of the most pressing things I relate to human connections and a sense of community,” adds Joey Camire, creator of Instafame. “Studies show that there is a positive correlation between the desire for fame and the feeling of loneliness— and this generation wants fame more than ever.”

When asked what he would do if Instagram ceased to exist, Shawn says “I would feel the same as I feel now, I’d just go on with my life.”

Watch Instafame below:

[Image: Instagram]