by Joel Fernandez
It seems that the line between celebrities and regular people has been exaggerated to an egregious extent. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with admiring the work of whatever public figure you like. But when it gets to the point where we subject another human being’s personal life to the most ridiculous levels of scrutiny, that is a step too far. The dubiously popular site known as the 6th page is one of many who seek to capitalize on the exploitation of the personal lives of celebrities. Today we will discuss why our society should move away from a paradigm that encourages the parasitic tendency to stick one’s nose in someone else’s business.
For the sake of this conversation, we will assume that empathy needs to be introduced to the equation as if it were not already present. Imagine, if you will, that your significant other was the target of abuse both online and real life because of their relationship with you. Try to understand what it would be like if you were involved in ill-fated relationship that ultimately failed spectacularly. You would probably want to be left alone for while until the hard feelings have had a chance to run their course.
Now imagine if the most painful details of your love life were made public and that every lowlife troll on the internet turned your pain into a punch line. You would probably realize that the tabloid media isn’t so harmless after all. At first glance, your reaction might be one of levity followed by familiar indifference. But we must not let collective apathy be the guiding principle in our lives. Obviously everyone is entitled to have their own priorities, but it seems that the line in the sand must be redrawn. There needs to be a new social contract that explicitly states that the privacy of others must be respected.
As was stated in the opening paragraph, the 6th page seeks to capitalize on the invasion of other people’s privacy. Their favorite slogan even goes so far as to arrogantly claim that “it’s who’s on the inside that counts”; shamelessly connoting their belief that the personal lives of celebrities are more important than our own. They seek to place an inordinate amount of value in the exploitation of other people’s private matters to the point where it minimizes the importance of the lives of their readers and viewers. There simply has to be a better way.
Instead of focusing on the personal lives of others and trying to enjoy their most difficult moments; why not find the value in our own respective lives? The tabloid media pushes a narrative that implies that the mundane nature of most of our lives is not interesting enough to keep us satisfied, until we hear of another celebrity drug overdose. You would think that watching the tragic deaths of the sometimes very young celebrities would lead to a collective epiphany that reallocates value back into our personal lives, but unfortunately that has not been the case until this point in world history.
Instead of realizing that celebrities are just like us in a lot of ways, we continue to subject them to only the utmost scrutiny that drives some of them to madness. When the paparazzi climb into bushes and trees to snap pictures of children or their topless mothers, who do you think they sell the pictures to? If you guessed that the ill-gotten pictures inevitably end up in the hands of tabloid websites like the 6th page and the now defunct gawker, you are totally right. That’s right, the same paparazzi that chased princess Dianna to her death turns around and makes a fortune selling pictures to the tabloids.
There is a fine line between real news and tabloid sleaze. The day that the paparazzi and their tabloid partners in crime go out of business will be the day that humanity will have turned the corner toward a better future. One where the suffering of others is not the cause for levity. Where children can go to school without being spied on by come creep with a camera that hides in bushes and climbs trees to get the “best” angle. Perhaps then we will realize that it’s our real loved ones that count. Not the strangers that get their privacy invaded or the parasites who make their living by attaching themselves to matters when they are obviously not invited.
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