The Trouble with sites like People.com

Frequently, when I am bored at home, I tend to browse the internet (shocker, right?).  One of the sites I frequently check is People.com.  I’m not going to lie, although this is a tabloid of sorts, sometimes they have very interesting, entertaining stories about celebrities, explaining the details of their lives or their outfits, or they have an article that actually isn’t related to celebrities at all.  But sometimes – well, actually, often – People.com posts an article that is just utter crap.  And by that, I mean something that has no point or such a small point that is only is entertaining for a tiny portion of People.com’s audience.  Examples of worthwhile articles would be things such as a celebrity going through cancer, or a celebrity adopting a child from Africa, or a celebrity running a marathon for charity.  The “utter crap” articles consist of celebrities getting new hairstyles, celebrities getting new clothes, etc.  Yes, of course they are people with jobs in fashion  or hairstyling who are likely interested in these articles.  But these articles are crap because they express merely the amount of money that celebrities get to spend on a whim without any cares at all.  They express no goal; they express no humanitarian effort; they express nothing other than the worst possible face of the tabloid media.

Take for example, this recent article from People.com.   The entire article is about Christina Hendricks’s new hairstyle.  The article spends too many words explaining essentially that she got her hair cut shorter.  Worse still, People.com seems to think a large percentage of the audience cares, because they ask whether their readers “Love it!” or “Hate it!”.  What they really need to be asking is whether their readers love or hate the articles on People.com.

Children in Africa are starving.  Children in the U.S. are starving.  Children all over the world are starving.  Poverty, crime, and immorality are all prevalent issues in modern society.  And yet, here in the grand ol’ U.S., we pay people money – we consider this a job – to comment on the hairstyles of Hollywood denizens.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that these type of articles will ever cease to exist, so I would instead urge this to my readers: do not read these articles.  Read worthwhile pieces of literature that teach you something about the world, or even ones that teach you something about yourself.  Just don’t read the ones that only teach you about Christina Hendricks’s new “do”.

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