“Boy, why you so obsessed with me?” sings Mariah Carey in her most recent single, echoing many previous songwriters’ thematic preoccupations with obsession. But obsession is more than just fodder for lyricists—obsessions are prevalent among individuals and institutions. With the advent of the Internet, people are given new forums for indulging in their obsessions. Some people latch onto a celebrity, a book, a movie, a game or a TV show and spend their late-night hours feverishly perusing fan sites and message boards. Cultures go through cyclical obsessions, as evidenced by the current ubiquity of vampires.
Less noticeable but possibly more significant, people can become obsessed with ideas. When an idea becomes an obsession, people have a tendency to forget about other aspects of life. This tunnel vision can be dangerous because it prevents people from fully appreciating experiences that do not conform to their singular view. If a person is obsessed with success, the commitment to the ultimate goal could hinder their enjoyment of leisure time. In Alyssa Figueroa’s article “Do Work, Get Money,” we witness an IC student who is more occupied with doing schoolwork and succeeding than making friends and enjoying his college years. Worse yet, if someone does not reach his or her goal or becomes disillusioned with the obsession, it could be emotionally devastating.
This isn’t to say obsessions are inherently negative. Sometimes they give people drive and motivation to accomplish goals. We all have certain things that get us up in the morning. And hey, who are we to judge fangirls who spend their time reading anime and pretending to date the characters? In the MoC article “Cult of the … Lost Lovers?,” Anne Northgraves discovers the world of devotees of certain television shows is more than just about being obsessed—it’s about sharing their love as a community.
In the end, though, obsessions are really what keep you up at night, whether it’s paranoia of being stalked by that creepy guy from your chemistry class or the fact that you can’t stop singing that new shitty Lady Gaga song.
– The Editors