Featured Essays

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Explaining the Bieber Fever – Who is Justin Bieber?

Explaining the Bieber Fever - Who is Justin Bieber?

Seriously, what is the deal with Justin Bieber?

The sixteen-year-old is technically a singer, but he is better known as an unstoppable online icon and prodigious teenage sensation.  Recent Twitter studies have shown that 3% of the microblogging servers are dedicated to him, and his name is mentioned 60 times per second during peak hours.  To put this statistic in perspective, co-founder Evan Williams reported that Twitter averages 90 million tweets per day, which means there are approximately 2.7 million mentions of Justin Bieber on any given day.  In simpler terms, it appears as if Bieber’s online fandom has the influence and prevalence measurable to a small country. 

Who is Justin Bieber?
How could a single person, let alone a harmless and inoffensive teenager from a small town in Canada, warrant so much attention?  What could possibly be so fascinating about Justin Bieber?  Although his two albums (titled My World and My World 2.0) skyrocketed in sales, he hardly lit up the music industry with any interesting or innovative songs.  And with all due respect to teenagers, his life experiences at the age of sixteen are virtually non-existent.

Despite his lack of accomplishments, the Internet’s ongoing conversation about Justin Bieber is growing more prominent each day.  The discussions often revolve around his helmet hair, his eight-year-old girl voice, or his tendency to attract water bottles hurling at him on stage.  Nobody said he was an interesting guy, but the Internet sure has taken an unhealthy interest to him.  In any case, the mundaneness of Justin Bieber has not stopped his popularity one bit.  While his celebrity status may seem very fortunate, I do not believe his success is entirely accidental.  In an attempt to rationalize the ‘Bieber fever’, this article will analyze the numerous factors that contributed to his massive appeal.