by Cristina Mccabe
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What do all these things have in common: Rubik?s cubes, lava lamps, the Beatles, Pok?mon, the iPod and Lady Gaga? They?re all fads popular over the past five decades; they?re what was ?in? at one point in time.

There is no doubt that our lives are surrounded and influenced by the latest fads in fashion, music and celebrity gossip, as pop culture even pervades the school environment.

Tabloids are just one form of pop culture?s unavoidable presence in today?s society.

?Tabloids are just trying to make money,? senior Max O?Bierne said. ?They are even less reliable than Wikipedia.?

Tabloids nevertheless remain an accessible source of entertainment. ?The world would be boring without tabloids or paparazzi,? freshman Annie Brinza said. ?It gives me a topic to talk about with my friends and to gossip about.?

 On the other hand, senior Sarah Doan regards fads as a negative influence on in her life.

?I see [pop culture] impacting people in a very, very negative way,? she said. ?It influences how I view celebrities and people who follow them.?

Another important part of pop-culture has been the speedy growth of reality television shows, such as Top Chef and 16 and Pregnant that take common people and make them stars that we can associate with, love and root for through their ridiculous television endeavors.

Music of all genres also represents a growing aspect of pop culture. Artists such as Jay-Z and Taylor Swift not only affect the music industry, but also television, fashion and other fads.

Similarly, the Internet has expanded the window of pop culture through social networking sites and YouTube. Seemingly everyone has a Twitter and/ or Facebook account to follow and ?friend? everyone from Sean Kingston to his or her best friend.

It?s hard to imagine that Facebook was only recently founded in February 2004 by Harvard computer science students. What was once a campus phenomenon has sky-rocketed in six years to include 400 million users worldwide, according to the Facebook Press Room.

With similar pop culture explosions all around, avoiding the influence of popular trends is nearly impossible.

?I follow aspects that I like such as music and fashion,? Doan said. ?Even though I choose not to immerse myself in it, since most society is involved in pop-culture, I still have to interact with it.?

Although following pop-culture can be interesting and fun, some worry that it lessens values, lowers individuality and reduces social skills.

?[Pop culture] put a bigger focus on celebrities and fame and other superficial things,? freshman Gillian Lee said. ?Society should be focusing on more imp o r t a n t things.?

Guidance counselor Tanya Shuford also argues that pop-culture diminishes values.

?There is a confusion between fame and notoriety which has created a downward trend of respect for others through the images of violence on TV,? she said.

To resolve these issues surrounding pop culture, Shuford feels that enforcing consequences can lessen the negative influence of poor celebrity role models.

?When students see someone face consequences, they realize people aren?t untouchable,? she said.

Another potential impact of pop-culture, according to freshman Megan Morgan, is the loss of individuality.

?I think [without popculture],? she said, ?people would be more individualistic in what they wear and what they watch and listen to.?