Celebrity obsession

Knowing what is going on with your favorite celebrity's life has become an addiction for many people.

In the past, celebrities were nothing more than a mild form of entertainment — they would just get stopped for an autograph, or to have their picture taken. Now we follow their every move, from what they eat, to what they did on Saturday, and even who they sleep with. As time has passed, and technology has expanded, people have become addicted to knowing everything about their favorite celebrities' dirty details.

Websites that provide this information, such as TMZ or Access Hollywood, waste people's time finding out what their favorite celebrity is up to, even if they are not aware of it.

Celebrities acknowledge that having fans that are invested in their day-to-day routines generate easy revenue and can help them get more publicity, despite the possibility of feeling harassed by reporters or obsessed fans.

In 2003, psychologists at the University of Florida and Southern Illinois University conducted a study on obsessive fans and concluded that about one-third of Americans suffer from Celebrity Worship Syndrome. The study divided fans into three categories: people who follow celebrity news for social purposes, people who develop an "intense" relationship with a star, such as the belief that the fan and star have some special bond, and people who display "borderline pathological" behavior, and are willing to hurt themselves or other people in the name of a star.

The third is the scariest group, and is considered an addiction. Roughly one percent of the population displays this behavior, and when asked if they would do something illegal for their favorite celebrity, most of these people said yes, and some even said they were prepared to die for their idol.

"Just worshipping a celebrity does not make you dysfunctional," said Dr. James Houran, one of the authors of the study, in the analysis paper. "But it does put you at risk of being so. There is this progression of behaviors, and if you start, we don't know what's going to stop you."

I am personally a big fan of Latin Pop singer, Prince Royce, but just because I like his music and think he is very good-looking, doesn't mean I'm going to follow him around. There's a limit, and people need to acknowledge that.

The media may report an issue that the celebrity did not want to be released, leading to harsh criticism and a demand for an apology from people who are not necessarily as invested as the individuals in Houran's study.

I cannot understand why anyone, expect for her close relatives, would want an apology from Lindsay Lohan when she crashed her car for the how-many-th time, was caught snorting cocaine, or when she got a DUI.

Society needs to end this ridiculous hero-worship of celebrities. If you want a hero, look for someone who deserves your praise, like a medal-of-honor recipient, a charity organizer or a fireman who carried a child out of a burning house.

It is sad to see what our society has come to — caring that much about a celebrity someone does not personally know is just simply crazy, and people who are addicted to celebrity gossip need help.