Thursday, October 23, 2008

The lives of others

I just spent half an hour reading through every entry on this website. Obviously, there's a big market for this kind of entertainment (see PostSecret), so I don't feel so alone in my compulsion to know the tiniest details about strangers' lives. I'm fascinated by other people's stories, from the mundane to the earth-shattering. I devour Facebook status updates and Twitter posts (tweets?). I love reading blogs written by people I'm never likely to meet. I love details. I love stories of all sorts, real or fictional.

It's why I can't stop watching some TV shows well past their sell-by dates; I have to see what happens to the characters. (Is this why people watch soap operas?) It's why I love short stories, poems, novels, memoirs, plays, news stories, websites of all stripes, comic books, you name it. As long as it's competently written and I can relate to it, I'm in. It's why I could watch 43 episodes of In Treatment in just over a week. I'm addicted to other people's private lives. But overall, I think it makes me a better, more compassionate person. I try to understand what makes people tick. I'm not (over-)judgmental. I want to know where people are coming from, so I listen.

Or I'm just a busybody who needs to get my own life. Take your pick.

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