By: Rana Khatib, featured writer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ever wondered why so many people are so obsessed with celebrity gossip? Why is it important that we are informed what Rihanna wore, who Justin Bieber is dating, or how much money Jordan bought his house for?
Maybe it is human nature to care about these things and maybe it is a guilty pleasure. However, it is interesting that we sometimes seem to place celebrity gossip before pertinent, vital news that is happening around the world.
Does it makes us bad people for caring too much about how other people live their lives rather than trying to help others going through difficult times? Anthony Vega, senior at UIC states, “Our priorities are truly mixed up. And that people would rather concern themselves with the lives of these idols rather than about perpetuating a positive change in the world.” Sophomore at UIC, Samia Jaber agrees by saying, “I think celebrity news is not important. Although it’s very interesting and it gets a lot of people’s attention, I don’t think it’s relevant enough to be considered news. What people do/wear shouldn’t be as important as, for example, a local murder, kidnaps, or on a larger scale, elections or a natural disaster.”
It seems as though celebrity news is deemed as more important than global news that influences our lives. On the other hand, it could be the power of social media and how it reinforces the importance of being informed about superstars. It may make us feel as outsiders if we do not who is dating who or which outfit is better.
Jaber continues to say, “I think with the growth of social media and technology, celebrity news spreads faster than actual news. It disconnects people from the reality of things and in turn, leads to a materialistic society.”
Social media and our acceptance go hand in hand. As we continue to support television shows such as ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians,’ ‘Jersey Shore,’ or ‘The Hills,’ the media will continue to supply us with this kind of information. Christine Gargano, senior at UIC states, “I think the media reports so often on celebrities because they realize when they do, people enjoy it. And in the end, what sell is what matters because media is still a business focused on making money.”
Celebrity news may just be a form of entertainment that helps us feel better about ourselves. It may be a way to forget the troubles in our life and just enjoy a few minutes or couple hours on watching or reading about people we do not personally know but love.
Junior at UIC, Biann Abu-Elreish says, “I don’t think celebrity news is important but I will say that the reason it’s so appealing is because it’s yet another form of entertainment. Just simple entertainment. Media obsesses over it because it’s a social aspect of our culture. It is what makes the U.S. unique in a sense. Celebrities make up a larger percentage of contributions to stimulate the economy.”
It could be instinct to click the article about Beyonce’s baby rather than on an article that discusses the budget cuts that affect us as individuals. When we do decide to read about news other than celebrity gossip, most of the time it is something that may affect us, personally. For example, if a robbery took place in our neighborhood, we read the article to understand what happened so we can protect ourselves.
So, is it our lack of interest on the vital things happening in the world such as hunger, poverty, war, or politics? Is this a form of selfishness or is it human nature to only read what pertains to us? Or is it our fault for letting the media control what we think is important information to retain? The answers to these questions seem to depend on each individual. There may be people who constantly read the news that do not deal with who cut their hair or who is pregnant. And there may be people who read all kinds of news so that they balance out the information they consume.
In the end, it is up to us to try and balance out the news we read in order to understand the world around us. After all, it somehow can affect us in one way or another.