Misguided attention in consuming information

From red carpet events to all the gossip stories, celebrity obsessions are noticed all over society. There are times that I definitely can’t help myself from going and picking up the trendy magazine that’s on the stands. However, I feel a huge issue in society is the amount of attention we’re placing on unimportant topics, such as the lives of celebrities.

The people working in the field of media and selling stories to the public know the different reasons people are interested in reading about the lives of famous people and they use it to their advantage.

As if there wasn't enough going on in day-to-day life, people tend to find entertainment learning about the lives of others. In order to grab the attention of people, those working in the media come up with ideas and stories that will sell to the public.

For a large demographic, a topic that tends to pull our attention is looking into the lives of public figures or celebrities. Society is getting its fix of entertainment by reading all kinds of stories about celebrities. Those in the media know this and seem willing to go to whatever lengths necessary in order to sell a story.

Getting those parts to create something they’re able to market and sell requires them to go to great lengths. With thousands of magazines in the United States all fighting for the highest sales, reports will spin anything to make it a big deal by playing off the emotions and thoughts of the public.

As some readers skim the pages of a magazine or scroll through articles online, they are intrigued by the sense of living vicariously through someone else. Seeing what it’s like for those who are wealthier, famous and desirable has created a great interest into the lives of celebrities.

A sense of envy and fascination tends to have people wanting to read about them and imagine their pleasurable lives. While the media may thrive from stories of celebrities' extravagant trips, lavish weddings and expensive purchases, they also know how to sell the screw-ups as well.

Society also finds pleasure in the misfortune of those celebrities that look like they’re living a carefree life. Reading about the embarrassment tends to give us a sense of superiority because while everything isn’t necessarily great in our lives, their lives aren’t perfect either.

Reading about their breakdowns and issues shields us from thinking about the problems we have in society.

“The news is bad. Who wants to know that when we can watch Lindsay Lohan drown in a sea of Vicodin? It’s just way more fun than facing what is actually happening out there,’’ said Danny Bonaduce, a former child star in an interview with CNN.

Living with the reality of what’s going on in the world around us has fallen on the back-burner to celebrity gossip. It’s a light topic that doesn’t require much thought, yet provides those who find any enjoyment in celebrity gossip with a sense of entertainment. However, what does that say about where people in society place their interest and attention?

“It’s hard for legitimate news and information sources to be heard above all the noise,” said communication and media studies professor Ed Beebout. “That’s why it’s more critical than ever for each of us as individuals to seek out that information.”

Reports and paparazzi in charge of getting stories or insight into the lives of these well-known stars are required to play on the wants of the public. From the Kardashians to Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods to O.J. Simpson, the appetite we have for celebrity misbehavior seems unquenchable.