Owl Adam Diary

The Values of Gossip Magazines and Tabloids


Description:In a coffee shop, I saw a plenty of gossip magazines and tabloids were available in a wood bookshelf. Gossip magazines and tabloids usually give me funny and interesting impressions. Thus, I like reading them while having a cup of coffee. Is this kind of publications only for entertainment? They have more values than that. They can increase our psychological well-being.

It was the third day of Lunar New Year, I hanged out with Daisy for playing around. We were pretty tired. So, we went to a coffee shop. After we ordered our drinks, Daisy picked up a gossip magazines from a wood bookshelf. Then, we sat at a table next to an enormous window. Daisy started reading it. I supposed to have a good talk with her! I gazed at the passers-by walking hurriedly in the window, "I should give her 10-minute. After then, I will interrupt her from reading."

"Daisy, why do you like reading this kind of magazines. Are celebrities' news important for you?" asked I.  

"Not so important, but I am curious to know about their lifestyles." said Daisy. "Gossip magazines and tabloids offer a way for fans to get insight into celebrities' routine lives. Don't you have curiosity to know more about other people?"

I nodded and said, "I want to know more about you!"

She laughed, "Hey! We have been friends since we were born. You are the third person who understands me deeply."

"Oh! Who are the first and second?"

"They are my parents." Daisy said. "When did you become a silly guy?"

I got the magazines from her hands, flipped through a few pages of it. "I understand, everyone admires celebrities. They have fame and wealth, I also want to be one of them."

Daisy said, "Every person has a story. We can learn from their stories. Actually, I don't want to be famous. How would you feel if a group of paparazzi follow you everyday, taking photos on your private matters, then, reporting to the public?"

"I would feel nothing, it's the cost of fame." replied I.

Daisy laughed! she said, "You are right! Gossip magazines, as well as tabloids, they contribute celebrities to keep their popularity. On the audience side, there is one important function of this kind of publication, that is, audiences may have a better feeling if they find people more messed up than them. "

I surprised, "Oh my goodness! Do you also feel better if you know someone is in worse situation than you are in?"

"No! Silly guy. It is a psychological theory, called Downward Social Comparison(Guimond, 2005)! All people are the same. We may feel better about ourselves knowing there are people who are more messed up than we are." Daisy said that with anger. "This behaviour happens because our brains look for ways to enhance our psychological well-being."

Gossip magazines and tabloids are always in a high demand. "Downward Social Comparison" that should be only one of the reasons for people reading them. We want to understand more about other people, listen more about other people's stories. It doesn't matter whether the stories are true or fake. Anyway, we enjoy reading stories, we are fascinated if we are familiar with the protagonist. So, even fictional characters can also become celebrities.


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