Formerly SpringBlog

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gossip Girl

The first chapter of Shirky's book "Here Comes Everybody" reminded me a lot of the popular TV show Gossip Girl. In the show, an anonymous person runs a gossip website featuring scandals on the elite teenagers of New York City. Often times during the show, characters will text things into Gossip Girl so that she (or he) can update it on the blog. If you are a fan, and even if you aren't, its pretty easy to tell this is the formula for an interesting plot line.

In chapter one of "Here Comes Everybody", Evan's website acts very similarly to that of Gossip Girls. It goes viral, getting more and more hits as people become more interested, and Evan begins posting and allowing others to post their thoughts, ideas, and information about the topic. Before he knows it it has spiraled out of control.

These kinds of examples definitely translate into todays society. Gossip sites like and the previously existing juicy campus are just some of many examples. But the question is, why does society enjoy these types of sites, shows, and situations so much? Its become such a big part of popular culture, and while these types of scenarios can provide comic relief, that can also do harm. The many examples of cyber bullying in American adolescents are a harsh reality of our fascination with gossip and exploitation. Should Hollywood gossip sites and shows edit their content to set a better example? Should shows like Gossip Girl focus on a different subject matter? The impact its making on adolescents today could affect the emotional well being of their peers who are being targeted.

1 comment:

  1. This is a tough debate to have because it borders on censoring people and upholding first amendment rights, and people who run these types of sites doing the "right" thing. The answer is complex, and probably varies for each individual instance.