When I turn on my computer, the home page has “news” teasers I can click on if I want to watch someone, usually a celebrity, break down. Why would that be appealing? What’s the draw to see someone make a big mistake, be humiliated in public, or go sobbing into meltdown? Sometimes it’s just an average person who screwed up.
For instance: “Jennifer’s (or Kate’s) fashion disaster!” Why would I want to see someone shamed, tripping, or in a revealing, horrid color, sleazy or unflattering dress? Charlie ranting? I could watch a wedding disaster, where the bride or groom slips and falls … you get the idea. There’s even a TV show, supposedly a comedy where you can see people hurting themselves in odd ways. Is this more interesting than seeing someone succeed?
What’s the draw? Some people love to watch disasters. Some go to auto races hoping to see a crashing pileup, some at the circus thrill when a trapeze artist falls, Some hope for a fiery crash at an air show. There is a legitimate watcher: an expert who rewinds a disaster scene over and over to find the cause and devise a remedy to prevent it from happening again.
But what about the person who clicks on one of those scenes? Does he want to laugh? To feel superior? If it’s someone you dislike would you be more likely to want to enjoy the suffering? Would you be relieved it wasn’t you? Would it reinforce your attitude against the person? A satisfying “Aha” moment? Is it good to laugh at your enemy? The Bible warns not to gloat over the troubles of your enemy.
What if the video humiliates someone you like and admire? Your child, someone in your family, even YOU? Someone caught you in a humiliating situation. Would you want everyone on the internet to witness it? Would you be outraged if it were your son or daughter? Would you be fascinated enough to watch over and over? I think not.
They say that celebrities are like public property: fair game for publishing anything whether they like it or not. (That’s why paparazzi shield themselves in trees, trashcans and cars, and even wear disguises.) Selling other people’s misery is lucrative. Why is this popular?
Is it simple curiosity? Like, How did that happen? Or what next? Are there many compelled to watch something astoundingly beautiful? Or someone in a happy moment? It doesn’t seem to have the same draw as a disaster.
Think about it before you sign on to watch someone in a hurtful situation. (I can recommend a site called dailykitten.com)