An opening word: How much is too much?
Every morning I get a news update sent to my phone from Yahoo. Periodically, The New York Times and the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette will send a notification too.
When I crawl out of bed and stumble to the bathroom to brush my teeth while checking Facebook like any normal 21st century youth, I can count on my newsfeed being cluttered with stories about which celebrity couple was seen out the night before. Without fail, I’ll scroll across a title that reads “LeBron James is taking sad mirror photos after losing to Rockets” or “Taylor Swift Explains Why She’ll Still Be Single At 30.”
It’s easy to get so engulfed in the lives of athletes, politicians and performers that we ignore our own humanity, or worse, the humanity of others. But why is it we are so prone to preoccupy ourselves with what color dress Kim Kardashian wore at the awards or whether Drake and Chris Brown are arguing again?
Maybe it’s the drama. Maybe we just admire their talent. Or, maybe we envy how glamorous and exciting their lives are juxtaposed against our mundane ones. Our hypersensitivity to their daily routines could just be our way of living vicariously through them.
If that’s true, then I see a serious problem.
TMZ and People Magazine, MTV and Fortune all make a living off following the lives of other people. We drive up demand for their product with every click, every post and every Instagram photo “like.”
The danger lies in the fact that because we become so distracted by the lives of the rich and famous, we neglect the immeasurable value of everyday people. It’s easy to sit on our couch and stare at a screen, but is that what life is about? I’m inclined to believe that just as much adventure and drama can be found in our own day-to-day journeys. And if excitement seems all but burdened under the weight of the monotony of homework, paperwork or other chores, then we owe it to ourselves to create our own excitement.
I leave you dear reader with the same question Mary Oliver posed to her listeners, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”