Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Celebrity Factor

 By Cynthia Caron

Have we become a society of reality shows  and celebrity status in which the juicer inside gossip and scandalous behavior the better? Is this truly the prerequisite for today’s television?  Last month I wrote about my thoughts on the Nancy Grace, Oprah and Jane Valez Mitchell Show.  I promised I would follow up with the outcome of my previous article. If you recall, I closed my topic with an invitation for any of the three shows to contact me to feature one missing person case.  I never received that call.  Naturally, had they phoned I may have had a difficult time in choosing which family I would have referred, however as things go I did not have to lose sleep over that decision.

I can honestly say that anyone I’ve talked with really has had no interest in the mistresses of Tiger Woods,  nor in Jesse James.  So why do those stories keep making it to the headlines? Doesn’t the public care to see if someone missing could be in their neighborhood?  Or want to know if someone is missing from their neighborhood how they can help? Could it be the channels that we are tuning into on our television sets? Or is that what the public really is asking for?  Drama and sensationalism?  I sure hope not and I am pretty confident that most celebrities are not eager to have their personal lives exploited over and again every night.

I also wonder if we have become a world in which celebrities are the epitome of satisfaction with the common folks of the world hoping to gain their attention?  At one time it was the other way around.  Celebrities hoped to capture our attention in order for them to succeed in whatever realm of acting they performed.  I guess times may have indeed changed.  Perhaps the public just feels the need to see the traumas that celebrities endure to somehow relate with them?  Cant’ the same public relate to the fears of a family who has no idea how their son or daughter just disappeared off the face of the earth? I wonder how many missing could be found if those same folks who tune into reality shows tuned into the real world, unscripted, and have empathy towards families of missing and demand that television broadcast more cases?

It’s like my mind will be forever boggled on how thousands of Twitter folks plucked away at their keyboards and twittered away for Jessica Simpson because her loved doggy was taken away by a coyote, yet only a handful of caring and compassionate folks retweet for missing people?   It’s certainly not because it is a taboo subject because I’ve seen hundreds twitter away for a missing friend of a celebrity who invariably was found.  Is it that people are just so infatuated with celebrities that there is some psychological satisfaction in having their name recognized by a celebrity for retweeting a doggy that surely was not going to be found safely? Why not the same zealousness for a missing human being?  While at it, why is it so difficult to find a celebrity willing to retweet a missing person? Giving credit where credit is due, in my year of twittering I can thank Dog The Bounty Hunter and Bill Zucker as they are truly the only ones that will take the time to retweet a missing loved one.  

I shouldn’t complain as one thing I can say for sure…those that follow me on Twitter are probably the best folks in the Twitter world. Why? Because they truly care about the missing and want to do whatever they can to help by retweeting for the families or just looking at my tweets to see if they may make recognition. For that I am thankful. They’re my celebrities.

(You can follow Cynthia Caron on Twitter @lostnmissing )

Cynthia L. Caron
LostNMissing, Inc.

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