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Study: Tweens Value Fame Most

Study Finds Tweens Value Fame the Most

A new study out of UCLA has found that kids ages 9-11 value being famous more than anything else, ranking it No. 1 compared to 15th in 1997. The researchers involved are wringing their hands at the results, predicting that this obsession with being famous is going to negatively affect this youth generation's future success. One of the study's coauthors said, "They may give up on actually preparing for careers and realistic goals," and another added, "When being famous and rich is much more important than being kind to others, what will happen to kids as they form their values and their identities?"

While tweens and teens have always looked up to celebrities and dreamed about fame, what's new is the idea that it's much more attainable. Thanks to reality shows, viral videos (ahem, Rebecca Black), and the mini celebrity that can be obtained on social networking sites, tweens may believe it's easy to make it big.

I agree with the researchers that kids need to be taught that working hard, treating people with kindness and respect, setting realistic goals, and honing your skills are the types of things we should value, but they need to realize these are still kids we're talking about. How many 9-year-olds are thinking about their college degrees and future careers at this point, or even understand what it takes to succeed in their ideal jobs? Kids will always have big dreams when they're young, and does it really matter if it's fame, making a lot of money, or becoming an astronaut? What do you think?

Join The Conversation
canadianbacon canadianbacon 5 years
Two things. One: Children have no idea what "being famous" entails today. Perhaps they are to you to recall how Princess Diana died. Two: This article fails to mention the other items which ranked lower than "fame"--I'd like to see the other items, please.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
I think all kids dream of being famous, but when I was little it was more of a daydream than an ambition. Also, there used to be somewhat well-defined steps to fame. Drama club, choir, dance classes, you actually had to *Work* for fame. Now all a kid has to do is tape himself and work up enough youtube hits and he's a celebrity. It's not the fantasy, it's the work ethic that frightens me the most.
neonbee neonbee 5 years
When I was nine, I definitely wanted to be a successful ballerina/tennis player, but I don't think it was the fame itself that I craved. It was the knowledge of being excellent at the craft that I really wanted. It's good to dream, but meh, these days, even people with almost zero talent are becoming famous.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
Oh, let the children dream of being famous. I hope I'm not complaining about "kids these days" until I'm at least 80.
awesomepants awesomepants 5 years
^agree 100%
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
I find it troubling, to be honest. Sure, lots of kids daydream about being famous athletes or rock stars or whatever. They always have. But ranking fame as THE most important thing suggests a shift in values toward a self-centered standard. It's a shift from "I dream of doing something" to "I dream of being adored."
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