Are our Social Circles the New Celebrity? Is Facebook the New Tabloid?

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I am a recovering People.com junkie. Once upon a time, in a not-so-distant past, I checked the site two, maybe three times a day. I'm embarrassed to admit I would click its link before my local or national news sites in the morning.

Maybe it's due to the fact that I don't watch reality television, and therefore don't recognize half the names in their headlines anymore. Maybe it's because I follow People on Facebook and am able to scan the headlines in my News Feed.

Celebutot's Courtesy of Zuma Press



Or maybe -- just maybe -- I just don't care anymore. I don't care about the Kings of Leon's troubles. Who cares that Patrick Schwarzenegger is going naked for some billboard? I assume he's Arnold's brother, but I don't know for sure. [Editor's Note: He is Arnold and Maria Schriver's 17 year old son, pictured above.] I certainly don't give a damn about Jennifer Aniston's new home with boyfriend what's-his-name. We all know it won't last. And lord knows we're all sick of reading about Lindsay's latest debacle.

Why do these people continue to fascinate? Why are there magazines and web sites and television shows devoted to the comings and goings and successes and failures and party lives and family lives and non-clothing habits of these people? We know their birthdays and monitor their pregnancies and send condolences when their pets die. Why do we care? I'm seriously asking -- why is it so addicting?

And now, for an even bigger question: Isn't Facebook our own, personal People.com? For most of us, Facebook is the first site we check in the morning. We check it multiple times a day. Aren't we monitoring the comings and goings and successes and failures and party lives and family lives and yes, even sometimes the non-clothing habits of these people? Most of whom, if we're being honest, are mere acquaintances -- not true friends. We know their birthdays and monitor their pregnancies and send condolences when their pets die. Why do we care? I'm seriously asking you -- why is it so addicting?

So please, let's examine this. Feel free to speculate in the comments section while I check the latest J-Lo headlines.

 

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