Live the life you are living -- not another's


There are times when I openly weep for this big rock we live on called Earth.

Now, don’t start chiming in with your political rhetoric about our president or griping about what Rush Limbaugh said that got your hair on fire. I’m not a fan of either side of that political aisle and I’m tired of everybody blaming all of life’s woes on what a bunch of clowns in Washington — or a bunch of clowns who make a living off talking about the aforementioned clowns — might say or do in a given day.

We are all ultimately left to our own devices in this world, and there is no reason somebody should succeed or fail in life based on what some good-for-nothings are accomplishing, or not accomplishing, in their ivory towers. If something is made harder, work harder. If something is not fair, work to make it fair or come up with an alternate plan.

Life’s tough. Wear a helmet.

My problem is our continued, and dare I say, “growing,” obsession with celebrities and how they live their lives. This is a phenomenon that has irritated me for years, as we know way too much about actors, athletes and musicians, and far too many people live their lives vicariously through these random strangers that it borders on “creepy.”

Now, I’m not saying anything bad about being a fan of somebody. Throughout my life, I have held athletes from Eddie Murray to Cal Ripken Jr. to Walter Payton to Ronnie Lott in very high regard, and I’m a huge fan of movies featuring Denzell Washington, Robert DeNiro and, lately, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis (though I readily admit that I might be a little “creepy” myself when I watch the latter two in movies).

But I never really cared too much about what Ronnie Lott might wear when he goes to the store or what car Robert DeNiro drives or how late Natalie Portman was at a nightclub in South Beach. It’s the work in their fields of expertise that makes me a fan — not how much they might tip at an Applebee’s in Buffalo.

And while I admit this fringe fandom has gone on for years, I think it has completely blown out of control with the proliferation of social media. Now we can easily see what our favorite actors had for breakfast (yawn), wore to a barbecue at their friend’s house (yawn) or, in some instances, know their opinions on political or social issues (please, pour acid in my eyes at this point).

And there has been no other person, or couple, in the world that has been under a more close watch than Prince William, his wife Kate and their new baby — George, or Henry, or Frodo or something.

For starters, I have no interest in the royal family, whatsoever. I’m not trying to be callous, and I wish them no ill will, but I truly don’t care what goes on in their lives. I understand that for many people this is great voyeurism, and I respect that, but when a couple can’t go to a hospital to give birth to their first child without a small nation forming in the streets outside, we have lost our collective way a bit, don’t you think?

And social media has only made it worse. Look, I’m a huge fan of Twitter as I follow many of my favorite writers and get easy links to their latest work, and Facebook has reunited me with countless people I have lost touch with over the years, but every time I logged on to either site over the past few weeks I have been bombarded with memes, comments and photos of William and Kate, along with many fake postings and some outright lies.

Again, I’m not singling them out. I was watching a movie Saturday night and received three text messages from friends asking about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s car accident, where he apparently broke both legs when an elderly woman drover her car through a stop sign and ran into Flacco’s vehicle.

I searched and searched online but didn’t find any news on the accident, and eventually turned to Facebook, where I saw the article posted by about 50 of my “friends” online.

And the article was a hoax. A complete fabrication.

Look, social media is great in a lot of ways. But please don’t use it as a news source, even about Prince Frodo, or whatever his name is. Maybe keep up with friends, or other people you actually might know. Life’s more fun that way.