by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2018
by Joshua Chlebowski ’21
It has been 18 days since news broke about the end of Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande’s relationship. Even after such a length of time, articles and reports about the relationship are continuing to appear on news feeds everywhere.
However, between the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, upcoming elections, and environmental disasters, there is so much happening in the world that media outlets could also be devoting time and space to covering.
In the long run, gaining knowledge about these topics will pay off more than the latest “insider” perspective about a failed celebrity relationship.
Unlike these high-profile relationships, citizens can actually have an impact on many of the other newsworthy topics. Educating oneself about humanitarian crises forces people to take a hard look at their surroundings and find ways they can assist those who are struggling.
With elections right around the corner, researching how governments are responding to such conflicts is especially important.
Particularly as students, reading news articles helps us form opinions and engage our studies with the “outside” world.
The likelihood that topics covered in one’s courses are going to be applicable to a celebrity relationship is minimal, whereas these lessons can easily translate and help improve one’s understanding of what is happening in the world.
Sure, reading these articles can provide a quick relief from the depressing main news topics of the day, but to drag out the coverage of these unfortunate relationships is not helpful to anyone.
Those directly involved are trying to move on from the experience, and overzealous reporting dilutes newsfeeds and makes it more difficult to focus on current events outside the entertainment realm.
Let’s face the facts: unless either of the involved parties issues any statement, there is no source that can offer an accurate representation of what happened, nor should they claim to.
Even when involved parties issue statements or allude to break-ups, the media still deems it necessary to write numerous articles picking apart and analyzing each part of said messages, instead of accepting these statements and moving on.
Yes, it is difficult to read much of today’s news, however, that should not stop someone from doing it, nor should news outlets take one’s hesitancy to read such news reports as a sign to hurriedly write the latest breakup article.
After all, what does this say about our society, that we are so obsessed with celebrity relationships that we choose to neglect reporting on and engaging with other issues?
The shocking quantity of these articles exposes one of the glaring flaws of modern society: a desire to be in the know, even when it is not information with a direct impact on one’s life. In other words, modern society loves to pry.
Between studying “Snap Maps” to find friends and stalking people’s social media accounts, privacy has become a thing of the past.
This is not to say that previous generations were not nosy, but the advancement of today’s technology feeds into this ever-present desire to know more about everyone else.
While having information about others is certainly important, our current society has a difficult time identifying where the line between interest and obsession is.
Reading an article about celebrity couple breakups for the purpose of keeping up with pop culture is one thing, and this is not the issue.
What the Davidson-Grande situation has revealed, though, is that simply having the information is no longer enough.
Now there is a desire to know why and to hear all the “expert” hypotheses, as opposed to simply stopping at the reception of such news.
There is no quick solution to this development, and it is unlikely that our society will observe the overwhelming amount of articles about celebrity relationships and decide to drastically reduce the production of such pieces. After all, drama sells.
The decision to engage with these arguably shallow pieces is a decision everyone must make, and it is made on a daily basis.
Therefore it is important that everyone ask themselves, where is the line between news and gossip, and how close to the line is one willing to go to satisfy their desire for information?
The next time you find yourself reading an article about the latest celebrity relationship, ask yourself whether your decision to engage with it is because you think it is necessary information, or whether you are using the article to be nosy and avoid reading about more pressing developments in our world.