Tabloid articles pop up every day. Some websites have content going up so fast readers forget what a horrendous pile of nonsense the last one was because they’re too busy reading the latest edition of “Famous Person Falls Down Sewer in Drug and Alcohol Bender Gone Wrong!”. While most of us can chuckle then promptly ignore this type of “journalism”, others find it more difficult and often take cues from the shenanigans celebrities find themselves in due to alcohol and drugs. It’s akin to a car accident, and let’s face it, it often is a car accident, but there is never any message to it or life lesson. In fact, if there was one at all, it would be that if you’re rich and famous you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and consequences simply don’t and never will apply to you.
Despite the best intentions of tabloid journalists to “embarrass” celebrities and musicians with candid pictures and shady articles, it really just seems to roll right off the rich and famous. The only people affected seem to be the people who read this stuff and fantasize about it. Young people, in their party years, can truly sit back and admire how celebrities conduct themselves. The problem? Most young people aren’t rich, famous or bullet proof. They imitate this type of behavior and end up facing very real consequences that just plain suck.
Now I’m not going to sit here and blame an external factor for the woes of young people. Yes people are impressionable, yes they can be easily influenced by the half truths and gossip they read and yes, they are often too lost in their own world to be able to tell fact from fiction, right from wrong. They aren’t stupid though. When I say young people, I don’t mean pre-schoolers, I mean 18-20 somethings. They’re still kids but they’ve spent enough time on this earth to know that if they get high on cocaine and drive their dad’s escalade through a chicken coop, people aren’t going to like it. Whereas if Justin Bieber did the same thing, the general response would be a slew of hashtags about how “legit” and #doooope it was to watch.
I believe young people should live in a bit of a fantasy world. They should dream, be happy and a bit naïve. It’s healthy and good for them. Heck, I wish I thought the same way I did when I was 19 sometimes. I just don’t like seeing reality crush someone so fiercely that their entire future goes from peachy and positive to cold and cynical in a heartbeat. A DUI, addiction to drugs, stupid bar fight or alcohol fueled sexual assault can alter someone’s course so dramatically for the worse, that it has motivated me to write this little opinion piece on why I think tabloids do a disservice to young people.
The glorification of drugs, alcohol and non-stop partying without consequences is unhelpful at best, dangerous at worst. Our brains are designed to seek out patterns, and if you read some of the dribble splashed across tabloid websites and in magazines long enough, anyone is bound to at least think how cool it must be to be a celebrity and now everyone lets you get away with questionable actions because your track is #1 on a Spotify playlist.
This isn’t the usual, “facts based” article we like to write for our readers here at Searidge, but just some food for thought and something I have been thinking about recently. Maybe you are to? Maybe I’m just overthinking it and should ease up on the stuff young people read these days. It’s always good to get a discussion going though, and Searidge would love to hear what you have to say.