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Kaleidoscope of the Heart: No time for celebrity gossip

Rika Kayama

Lately, the marriages and love scandals of celebrities and the future of a popular pop group are the talk of society. My thinking is that every topic offers a chance to learn, so at the start of my university class, I asked my students, "Why does news about celebrities have a strong impact on the general public?"

    However, the students did not give much of a response. Forced to ask the students individually, when I inquired of them, "What did you think when you saw the news?" most of them responded that they were "uninterested."

    One student said, "There are so many serious issues, it is wrong for news variety programs to focus so much on celebrities." The most common opinion from the students, though, was that they simply had no time to be looking at celebrity news.

    "I'm preparing to go job-hunting, but it's not going well. My mind is occupied by that," said one student. "There's a sick person in my family, and I don't have the time for celebrity news," said another. "My relationships with my co-workers at my part-time job are a mess, so I don't care about celebrities' love affairs," another student said.

    I was very convinced by these frank opinions. For young people having to deal with the issues directly in front of them, desperately living day-by-day, gossip about celebrities must truly seem like something they have no time for. When a person is able to care about a pop group breaking up, or about a celebrity cheating on their spouse, it may be a sign that that person has things relatively easy. Of course, there are probably also people who are attracted to such news in order to escape from the harshness of their lives, but many of today's students can probably not even do that.

    Some students who have come this far in their studies thanks to student loans say they want to drop out of university, because they don't see themselves as being able to repay their loans after they graduate. These days, no one is willing to lend them money that can be paid back in the future after they have made their way in the world.

    In the past, there was a time when university students were seen as receiving lots of money from their parents, while older generations were perceived as receiving high salaries. The two groups were enjoying recreational activities and buying brand-name goods. I'm sure that during that time as well there were students who were struggling to get by, but they were not very obvious. These days, students who have no problems and can focus on their studies and club activities are in the minority.

    To those students who say, "We don't have time for celebrity gossip," I want to say, "I'm sorry society has become this way." (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

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