Nobody cares – unless you’re famous

KIRSTEN SONNIER
Opinion Columnist

It seems the only things we see on the news today are either bad news reports or celebrity news reports.

In a study for the Pew Research Center, Russell Heimlich said the following: “The belief that the news media pays too much attention to celebrity news … is widely shared.”

All too often we see A-list celebrities making the headlines alongside national tragedies. With both of these kinds of stories steadily increasing, there tends to be a mass divide in what people think we should be focusing on. In today’s society, people are distracted from real-world events because they are paying more attention to which celebrity did what that day.

Now, I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it seems as if every time something significant happens in the news, it is swept aside because of something some famous person has done that day.

For example, the day the Manhattan terrorist attack in 2017 happened, the number one trending topic that day was not the attack. The top Twitter moment that day was not about the attack but rather about Wendy Williams fainting on live television. As soon as people had heard that she had fainted, they searched for the footage and the terrorist attack in Manhattan became a passing thought of “thoughts and prayers.”

You could just pass this off as a coincidence, but this sort of thing has been happening for years.

On January 23, 2014, Justin Bieber was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and drag racing charges. Do you know what else was happening in the world at the same time as Bieber’s arrest? Protests in Kiev, Ukraine – “a prelude to a major geopolitical standoff between the United States and Russia” – turned violent, peace talks in Switzerland regarding Syria began, the Palestinian city of Ramallah was put under siege by Israeli troops, and a car bomb detonated within Cairo’s government, killing four and injuring 50.

Society today is treading very dangerous territory. If all people care about is celebrities and not current world events, the state of the world will only continue to worsen over time. We, as a country, will have failed to be successful as one of the top countries if we cannot care enough to fix our conflicts.

Most people were probably vaguely aware of what was happening, but were more concerned about getting the scoop on Bieber or Williams.

I, for one, have never really been taught about foreign affairs such as these, but I have definitely heard about Justin’s arrest, which just goes to show that celebrity news is a huge distraction from serious world news. Some may say that celebrities do not really have that much of an effect on people’s lives, but these few examples are part of a group of many that have distracted people from what was important.

You have to admit that with people like the Kardashians and Jenners – that people are obsessed with for no reason – the public is so engrossed in what is going on in their lives that they just brush off anything that actually matters in the world. The outlook for our future does not look too great if this is what people care about.

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