I finally had a sighting last week! In the middle of the week, while at the Parkside dining hall of all places, I went to sit down when I saw a younger looking student leaning over one of the tables who looked exactly like Sanjay Patel from Modern Family. I didn't want to be too presumptuous, although he even sounded exactly like Sanjay, so I went to my own table and looked up the actor's name, only to find out thanks to his Twitter that the actor (Suraj Partha) is indeed a freshman at SC this year, making perfect sense for him not only to be at USC but also to be at Parkside.
An interesting takeaway from the moment was how social media has changed the way our own lives relate to that of stars. Whereas even 10 years ago someone might be tempted to go up to the person, asking if they really are who we think they are and maybe asking for an autograph, social media has brought the lives of stars into our own. With just a Google search I not only confirmed the actor but also what he was doing on campus, which in a way satiated my curiosity all by itself and stopped any impulse I might have to be starstruck or to go up and start a conversation. By allowing stars to so easily be in our lives, social media has increased their influence but possibly actually desensitized us to their presence, lessening the likelihood that we become rabid, paparrazzi-like fans every time we see someone we deem famous because we're so used to seeing them all over the internet, anyway.