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January 24, 2014 - Jennifer Brookens
Once again we are reminded that in today's social-media, instantaneous 24/7 media coverage society, it's easier than ever to get "caught."
The latest scandal, teen heartthrob Justin Bieber — a 19-year-old with more money than most of us will see in our lifetime — gets arrested for making some dumb and bad choices. I admit, the first thought that went through my mind was Simpson's character Nelson Muntz with his famous, "Ha Ha!" Thanks to our super-connected society today, we've all kept up with the boy-man's escapades, and most people aren't feeling much sympathy for the guy.
But truth be known, isn't this probably what we would see from any boy/young man whose given boatloads of money and no grounded sense of direction? Most of us probably never drag-raced a Lamborghini while drunk in Miami at 3 a.m., but we all have some point or other where we've done something that was far from a wise choice. Personally, I think if most of us were judged solely on the things we did and said in our teenage/ young adult years, we probably wouldn't want to leave the house. I know I did my share of dumb things at that age that make me cringe to remember, and make me glad I put a few states and decades between then and now. I also have to realize that I have a few more decades to go with my own children hitting those stages. They won't have it any easier, since photos, videos and details of dumb behavior can go viral worldwide within minutes of it being posted. And yes, I've found myself grateful that the Internet and cell phones weren't commonplace things back when I was in that young and dumb phase.
As I brought up the Bieber incident with a colleague, she reminded me of an interview with Valerie Bertinelli - a child star from the 1970s. When asked how she managed to stay out of trouble while being in the spotlight, she admits all her indiscretions were done at home and not out in public. Trouble is, our wired world is making it tougher to hide. As my daughter begins entering her pre-teen years and my son to follow, all I can do is pray they are both smarter than most during that stage... As for the Biebers, Mileys and other current celebrity gossip targets, I found a quote from Stephen King (on his Twitter account nonetheless) that sums it up: "For the young celeb, life is a banquet of free food. What they don't tell you is that you are often the last course."
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