Stags and the Stars: Students examine their relationships with celebrities


According to an online survey of 411 students, the most popular source of celebrity drama is TikTok.

Elon Musk’s attempts to buy Twitter. Taylor Swift is re-recording her old albums. Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson broke up.
With their names remaining constant in headlines and what may seem like near never-ending attention to their lives, it’s hard to go a day without hearing at least one story or piece of drama from the biggest celebrities.
However, as of late, many are reconsidering their relationship with these social elites and others are questioning how this constant media attention affects the mental health of those that they follow, with over 93% of 179 polled Miegians saying that too much attention is placed on celebrities’ personal lives.
The question of the media’s negative effects were recently brought into light with many looking back on the death of Princess Diana, who died 25 years ago from this September in a car crash while attempting to avoid the paparazzi.
Times have changed since Diana though. In the ‘90s, if students wanted to keep up with celebrity culture, they would have to read the tabloids or watch shows like “TMZ” and “Inside Edition.”
With the growth of the internet and the advent of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, celebrity news has become near instantaneous.
For freshman Mary Aguilera, this is not necessarily a bad thing as it gives her the ability to follow celebrities she enjoys, like actor Austin Butler.
“I started following Butler this past summer after watching the Elvis movie,” Aguilera said. “I realized that he was a cool person, and decided to follow him.”
Aguilera is not alone in following celebrities on social media.
Despite the overwhelming amount of students saying that too much attention is put on celebrities, another poll of Miegians showed that roughly 84% of polled students follow at least one celebrity online, with 11% saying that they follow over 50 celebrities. This leaves students like freshman Victor Axtell in the minority.
“I don’t really follow any celebrity or celebrity drama,” Axtell said. “If any big news comes out about someone, I’ll hop on that, but other than that I mostly ignore celebrity news.”
Without any clear answers, questions still remain about how healthy this relationship is with influencers, but for the time being, people will continue to follow celebrities, whether it be Kim Kardashian or Austin Butler.
“I think when people have all this information at their fingertips they start to become attached to them.” Axtell said. “People think they know these celebrities personally.”