While standing in line at the grocery store this afternoon I noticed the women in line in front of me looking at The National Enquirer while waiting for her turn with the cashier. The look on her face is what actually caught my eye. Her look is something that I am not able to pinpoint, but I would put it in a category somewhere between annoyance and pain.
As I stood there staring, trying to figure out why she was making that face, she seemed to suddenly notice me, and at that point, she threw the magazine back in its place (with aggression that was probably not all that necessary). Then she looked sort of embarrassed as she turned to me and said, “I don’t know why I read that crap! It’s all lies and it’s really ridiculous, but I can’t stop!”
I smiled at her, not really wanting to get involved in a conversation with this lady who was clearly angry at something and responded with, “Yes, it’s addicting and hard to turn away from. I totally understand where you are coming from, and I feel your pain.”
“It seems like young people these days focus so much on this stuff,” she said. “It’s easy to see why. What else are you supposed to look at while you’re standing in line at the grocery store?”
At this point, it hit me! What a great opportunity to talk to this lady about what she thinks about the world’s obsession with celebrities and their lack of interest in local international news. I wasn’t sure how she was going to take my impromptu interview, but I thought it was worth a try. I quickly told her about how I am a student at Fresno State doing some research for one of my mass communication and journalism classes.
“The only thing I know about celebrities is what I on the headlines while I’m standing in line here [at the grocery store], or sometimes I glance at them real quickly while I’m on the internet at home,” she told me as the cashier was scanning her items. “I like to think that I stay up-to-date on real news, but sometimes it’s hard. There’s a lot going on in the world, and I find it difficult to keep up.”
She then went on to tell me about her kids, and how she talks to them about what’s going on in the news during dinner time. “They are obviously not interested, but I make them listen. I also make a point to have the news on for a little while everyday. I really hope that they get something out of it.”
Next, the cashier felt it was a good time to talk about her experience on the topic. “My kids couldn’t care less about any of that stuff. It’s sad actually, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve given up also. News is so depressing.”
After leaving the grocery store, I was left to ponder the conversation. While their outlook on the younger population seemed depressing, I can’t help but think that what they were saying is probably accurate. Does the younger generation care about what goes on in the world? Or are they so obsessed with celebrities that they only focus on that?