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Why Do We Like it When People Fail?
Why is it every time a celebrity messes up we have to hear about it over and over and over again? Are we, as a society, that interested? or do we have nothing else to do? I know the media has to make a few bucks and has to exploit every little detail of a scandal. The media of course dictates what is news and what is not.. even when it is not news. But we listen.. and listen and listen. Why?
Obviously the celebrity in question is Tiger Woods. People are going crazy over the coverage of this man's indiscretions. Perhaps it is because of his squeaky clean image. Or maybe it is because he is rich. Maybe it is because he had a great career. Yes had a great career. Maybe it is because of all of the above. People will be watching as the whole thing plays out over months and months of media coverage. If it wasn't Tiger Woods then It would be someone else. We love to watch people fail. Watching people fail will trump all good. We could find a cure for cancer in the next few weeks and people will still be watching the happenings with Tiger.
One of the main reasons we are fascinated when others fail is it makes us feel better about ourselves. Yes yes even you sitting at your computer shaking your head not me. Its not that our self esteem is that low, but it does give us a boost of " hey maybe my life isn't all that bad". It makes us feel more successful than the person involved in the the scandal. Especially if a celebrity is involved in the scandal. Celebrities go by a different set of standards. Not standards necessarily imposed by the celebrity but standards imposed by us.. the non celebrities. We make false assumptions the celebrity has no or little faults. Celebrities can be good actors and only let us see what they want us to! Which makes it way more hard to resisit when a celeb falls from grace. We are reinforced that no one is perfect .
And Celebrities to us everyday folk are rich. Well most celebrities anyway. The ones who don't buy islands are a little better off then those who do. We love it when rich people fail. Why? Because we are jealous! Deep down we want to be wealthy too!
Gossip is unavoidable. We are naturally programed to talk bad about others even if it is trash talk. We may be designed to talk about and judge others. Gossiping is a way to communicate we are secretly envious of others and may feel inferior to them. On the upside of this MSN reported tow years ago that gossip can be good for you. Even though gossiping can be a guilty pleasure it can also be healthy for you. Gossiping has been described as building a skill and helps build bonding. Gossip is unhealthy when hurtful things are said to or about others.
Another reason we are so fascinated by others failure is perhaps we have little going on in our own lives. If you find yourself consumed by the Tiger Woods Scandal and you really weren't into Tiger Woods before.. take a step back and re evaluate! Do you really have to know about every reality show wanna be on his list of indiscretions? Don't you have more pressing matters in your own life?
For whatever reason it is our nature to be judgemental and to gossip. No doubt the mediawill exploit everything they can for a buck. One thing is for sure. Nine wannabe reality starletts will get their fifteen minutes of fame. We love to watch people fail because it is just human nature.