Over the course of our friendship you will find that I don’t care about many things.
By this, I mean that when I was younger, I obsessed over celebrity news and gossip. I always wanted to know, what was the latest news with Britney Spears? Which Olsen twin wore it better? Did Justin Bieber really grow up in Atlanta?
By this, I mean that when I found a band I really liked, I watched documentaries about them and wanted to know their background story, and why they wrote the music they wrote.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve pretty much abandoned that practice for a much more withdrawn attitude, questioning why we obsess over the lives of other people.
I’ve always been perplexed with the concept of vlogging (video-blogging). Random individuals on Youtube rise to fame by documenting their daily lives, and for what reason?
I have nothing against people who enjoy reading tabloids or watching band documentaries or vlogs on the internet, because the premise for doing that also justifies one’s interest in history.
People dedicate their whole lives to understanding the background and life of one individual, some historical figure of importance like John F. Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King.
But in my life, in a time where I barely know who I am, I’m less concerned with learning about the lives of others than I am with learning about myself.
It’s tough to do so when you have all of these different “role model” types circulating around you, pulling you to be someone who you frankly, are just not.
I once watched a freaking video of Ryan freaking Sheckler skateboarding and decided that I wanted to start skateboarding, when I don’t have a single athletic limb in my body. I just wanted to be cool like him.
Media, and the false propagating of celebrities as hero figures, plays way too large of a role in our lives. Getting caught up in it is a detriment to our priorities, our perception of reality. The facade of living through the life of another person is shattered early on, and this I experienced.
My whole life now seems to abide by the concept of ignorance being bliss, in that when my sister starts to tell me the background of a band or the meaning behind their name, I cut her off, uninterested.
I used to be one of those girls who drooled over Jesse McCartney’s face or had Edward Cullen’s face on a huge poster on my wall. Not anymore.
I don’t want to know what the names of the members of a band are, and I don’t want to be able to recognize them walking down a street.
I love singers that aren’t famous for their looks or how much skin they can show in an album cover, but singers who gain support through sheer talent.
Ignorance is bliss, except when it comes to knowing what’s going on in the world around you.
I used to hate following the news. These external events, these tax bills, these climate change initiatives, these presidential campaigns, these proxy wars. So irrelevant to my life.
Until they weren’t so irrelevant anymore. Growing up makes the world outside your window pertinent to your daily life.
I’ve tried to resist. The closest I got to reading the news was skimming headlines to get some idea of what was happening, but when I started debate and we discussed current events in history classes, I started to read in depth about what was going on outside of textbooks.
It’s the classic story of the privileged American reading stories about suffering people in third-world countries, but it’s common and cliche because it’s true.
The idea is so cliche, I know, it’s SO CLICHE. But refrain from rolling your eyes for a second and think this through with me.
Reading the news, knowing more about the world is very advantageous, because it makes us net-better people.
If nothing, it makes us think and realize once in a while about how the world doesn’t revolve around ourselves, that what we see as daily disasters aren’t really disasters in the broad-scale.