Perceptions are formed very quickly. You meet someone in the bus or taxi and by chance they smile at you, your first perception is that this is a nice person.
On the flip side if you greet the person and they fail to respond, you conclude this is rude ill-mannered person lacking proper upbringing.
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Celebrities undergo a worse version of perception formation. In that the public always has its eyes fixed on them. Every action of theirs is seen, interpreted and analysed so much so that even a mere finger toss can yield a long essay about how it was inappropriate and so on and so forth. But the one thing about perceptions is that they can be false. First impressions do count but the initial impression is not equal to the sum total of one’s personality. This applies to everyone and celebrities more so. More often than not celebrities assume a public persona to guard their true selves. This enables them to keep their personal lives out of the limelight. It enables them to also know which mask to put on, the choice of words and the mannerisms to use.
Thus it is virtually impossible to say you know someone just by watching them on TV or analysing their behaviour on social media. For the brand they have built is separate from the individual. This was the point Delay, the host of the popular talk show the Delay Show, was trying to make. Thus it is not right to say you know the celebrity in question, the details of their personal lives or the proximity of their relationship with their maker.
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“When Ebony’s death came as a surprise, what have we learned from it. Ebony’s sudden demise should always remind us to work on our salvation because once we have money and fame, the life we live today isn’t ours. So we should remember that where we fall shouldn’t be our end but rather get up and work out our salvation and seek the face of God.
“But this industry we (celebrities) find ourselves in is so difficult to serve God because you feel so uncomfortable because of how church members stare at you, making it seem as if you’re ‘satan’. They gaze at you and judge you in their minds.
“At times at church, I just turn and make eye contact with people who constantly stare at me with strange look as if I’m ‘Delay’ the devil. If you’re not strong in the faith as a celebrity, you’ll stop going to church.” Delay said on her show.
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Perhaps it is high time we neglect prima facie. Perhaps it is time we get to know people before we even think of saying we know them. Perhaps it is time we keep quiet about things we know not of.