As a marketing person, I watch trends. Everywhere I go from the coffee shop, to the doctor, the dentist,even the drug store, I naturally find myself watching people. What are they purchasing; how do they move through the store when they shop; how many people are using a list; how did these people get to this destination, did they drive? Who is using coupons and who isn’t.
I try very hard to be unobtrusive when I watch people. I don’t stare like I think they may be shoplifters; I don’t comment or ask questions as to why they are doing what they are at that moment, or even why they make the choices they make. There is one trend, however, that is slowly driving me mad.The garbage we are reaching for, putting in our heads and calling “news.”
Today, at a doctor’s office, waiting to be called, I caught myself noticing what magazines others were reading. People; Star; Celeb; Entertainment Weekly.What sat alone, ignored, unloved? TIME; Newsweek; Economist; USA Today.
Why is that? Why would any adult care to read about another mansion purchased; or who is dating who; divorcing who; sleeping with who….Why do hard working; smart, educated, free thinking adults care who or what the Kardashians are doing?
So, I broke my rule, and I asked. One woman actually made a good point. “Their lives are so screwed up, it makes me feel better about my own.” Another just shrugged. Another stated, “I guess I don’t know. I just recognized Boy George on the cover.” (Is he still even alive?)
I pointed out the other reads being ignored, and asked why no one was reading those publications. I received the same facial expression one gets when offering up sardines. Those pubs were called depressing, boring, dry, and “yuck.”
So, while I don’t believe in censorship on ANY level, I have to say that this is one trend over the last 10 years that just breaks my heart. It is like watching a young, healthy kid smoking a cigarette.
I will continue to watch what people read from afar, but I will be shoving those celeb rags to the back of waiting rooms, hiding them under the chairs at the hair dresser, and putting a TIME in front of the Glamour magazine in the grocery store rack. I can only hope that a new headline will catch someone’s attention and they will pick it up and begin to read. Is that censorship? Maybe it is.
– Betsy McCloskey, Principal/Partner at Plaid Swan