The death of privacy

Whitney Houston. Amy Winehouse. Michael Jackson. Xanax. Alcohol. Propofol. Valley of the Dolls.

This is what we remember about these famous singers – their causes of death. And it’s not entirely our fault that we suddenly link these talented artists with the substances that killed them. It’s all over the papers, on Twitter, Facebook and countless other social media websites. Comedians make jokes, bloggers make assumptions and drug habits make headlines.

But if celebrities expect to reap only the benefits of fame, they have another thing coming. With the money and outpouring of fan love, comes the public scrutiny. It’s a deal with the devil. For fame, a celebrity gives the public their privacy. Personal moments as mundane as eating a meal, running errands or enjoying a legal joint (I’m looking at you, Rihanna… actually, everyone is) are tabloid covers and gossip blog headlines. “Can you believe what she looks like without makeup?” “She was such a bitch at the club.” “Did you see that video where he was an a–hole to the valet?”

Now with smart phones, everyone’s a paparazzo. And celebs need to adapt. The first thing I’d say is “You’re always being watched.” I know it’s creepy, but it’s true. A star’s every move is captured on an iPhone and blasted all over the internet in a matter of seconds. Because – let’s face it – the public has an attention span of a goldfish, no one will remember your Academy Award when there’s a picture of you snorting lines in a club. No one will remember your triple platinum record when there’s footage of you blowing off fans for an autograph.

So here’s my advice to celebrities out there: keep your mouth shut (unless you’re reading from a script) and keep your head on straight. A bad choice may be your last impression.

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