Our society is obsessed with pop culture. We follow it religiously, some of us even becoming invested in the personal lives of our favorite celebrities. We follow feuds, tweet about breakups, and chat with friends over drinks about who threw shade on Instagram.
The internet was thrown into a tizzy this week when Kim Kardashian exposed Taylor Swift for lying about her knowledge of some lyrics in a Kanye West song. Every other title on my newsfeed reveals some shocking revelation about the feud, who responded to who and which celebrities have chosen sides in the virtual battle.
Swift’s star studded friends took to twitter to point out that our world is suffering and that we have much bigger issues than he said, she said. Fellow musician pals like Selena Gomez insisted that people with a platform should be using their voices for something that matters.
Her point would be incredibly valid had it not been so hypocritical. The sad state of our world is inescapable. Our daily lives are flooded with cases of abuse, terrorism, racism, sexism. Political and ethical battles are being fought daily. People with a massive platform can and should be offering educated opinions, topics for discussion and food for thought.
However stars who don’t comment on any of the things that matter, can’t only chirp in when something that ‘doesn’t matter’ happens and say “Let’s talk about things that matter!” Did she miss the irony? Her twitter has remained silent about the shooting of police officers in Dallas, after the shooting of Charles Kinsey, about bombings in the middle east and the injustice happening in Turkey. But as soon as her friend had some bad publicity she decided to speak up.
This isn’t just a problem with Selena Gomez either. It’s a societal problem. So many people don’t speak up about injustice until it’s something that directly affects them and theirs. There’s some strange phenomenon where people, failing to recognize that we’re all just people, don’t feel a strong connection to tragedy unless it happened to someone like them.
We recognize the tragedy for a moment, grieve, maybe share something on Facebook, but then we move on. We share something about Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat.
I recognize that we sometimes need a distraction from the horrors of our society, that we need a new, lighter topic to discuss so that it’s not all pain and tragedy. But if we are going to form strong opinions about Taylor Swift’s personal life, which is wrong on a whole other level (and I’m totally guilty of) we also need to form strong opinions about the things that matter.