We're all star-struck around Academy Awards time, but according to one interpretation of a recent psychological study, young people who worship celebrities may have psychological problems, and be lonely, insecure or lacking in social skills. Another interpretation says celebrity worship is an important part of growing up, and that these teenagers are emotionally well-adjusted and popular.
In the U.K., John Maltby and David Giles found that gossiping about their favorite celebrities with their peer group took up most of the social time for about 30% of the kids they studied. Maltby says, "They believe they have a very personal relationship with the celebrity. It may be affecting their relationship with other people." He believes that as many as one teenager in ten is too obsessed with rock singers and movie stars. Maltby says, "Some of those people who were very heavily into a celebrity were not close to some of the people in their lives and were not as secure. Their intense celebrity worship may be indicative of some relationship not working properly?We don't know if intense celebrity worship is caused by children reacting to bad relationships or whether their interest in celebrities causes them to withdraw from others."
In New Scientist, Gaia Vince interprets the same study more optimistically, and reports that celebrity-worshipping teens are emotionally well-adjusted and popular. "As children grow up, they start to transfer their attachment from parents to their peers. Celebrities start to take on the hero status role that their parents formerly fulfilled when the children were younger and it seems to be a healthy part of development," says Maltby. "The main function of celebrity attachments in adolescence may be as an extended social network?a group of 'pseudo-friends' who form the subject of peer gossip and discussion. The ongoing subject of celebrities' lives can provide a valuable bonding tool among their friends, while enabling them to be emotionally autonomous from their parents."
Don't waste time worshipping celebrities?worship yourself instead with a TV set that turns into a mirror at the touch of a button. Barry Fox writes in New Scientist that the company producing them eventually plans to manufacture one that's waterproof so it can even be hung in the bathroom.
You know people?and they?re not all celebrities?who somehow seem to just sap your energy. How do you turn their energy drain into an energy gain? Konstantinos tells you how!
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