I cannot be the only one who has noticed the abundance, some may even say overabundance, of scandal and celebrity gossip in newspapers, magazines, television programmes and more recently social media sites. My Facebook timeline in particular seem to have a nasty habit of being filled with stories about the Kardashians against my will. I remain unsure if I’m doing something wrong with my timeline settings or if this is a result of all my friends viewing these kinds of stories. That brings me to the purpose of this article, is it okay to view gossip stories all of the time or are they drawing our attention away from those facts that will in the long run affect us all, i.e. politics and global affairs?
Do not get me wrong, I am not exactly an avid reader of ‘heavy-duty’ news so to speak, but I do feel that it is important to be at least somewhat aware of the workings of the world around us, whether it be internationally or in our local areas. For example, how many of you reading know of the upcoming SU elections compared to how many of you know about the last selfie uploaded by someone like Kylie Jenner and the scandal surrounding that? I believe that the instant access we all have to news from any corner of the world has actually taken our attention away from what may be more important sometimes, that which is happening directly around us.
To make an obligatory Donald Trump reference, we need only look at how interested everyone suddenly is in the USA’s politics. In many regards this interest, such as the outrage surrounding Trump’s proposed ‘Muslim ban’ is completely justified and more than correct but I believe this focus on Trump, who in many ways fits into the entertainment news category at this point, takes away from the important issues Ireland is suffering from. The enormous hospital waiting lists and a homeless crisis that shows no signs of getting better rarely is ever show up on my Facebook timeline and they all involve people like you and I struggling in the very country we share.
In all I feel that it is very important to maintain your interests, read entertainment news if you like it and read politics if you like it, but I also feel that our unparalleled access to news shouldn’t distract us from any events, news or problems that might be closer to us than we think.