Social Question

erichw1504's avatar

What do you think drives people to gain publicity and fame?

Asked by erichw1504 (26417points) November 13th, 2009

Yes, I’m talking about people like Richard Heene who for some reason go to extreme measures just to get their five minutes of fame. What is the point of purposly trying to become famous. Why are some people obsessed with it? Do you wish to be famous some day? If so, why and for what?

Bonus: What’s your favorite publicity stunt or someone who strived to get their five minutes?

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21 Answers

mowens's avatar

People want to be remembered. People want to be important. Some people aren’t satisfied just meaning a lot to their friends and family, they want to mean a lot to everyone.

Thats my take at least.

SpatzieLover's avatar


Some people are driven by the attention of others.

J0E's avatar

It just feels good when others notice you. For example, I recently found a bunch of YouTube videos about something I made for the iPhone, it made me feel awesome that people liked what I made and thought I was awesome for doing it. I never intended to get attention from it but it felt good to be noticed.

proXXi's avatar

I was going to say insecurity, but I like the answer of narcissism even more. Lurve.

DominicX's avatar

I have to agree with the others. It’s a matter of wanting to be important; for some, it gives life more meaning if you are remembered or given attention by people other than those close to you. I don’t think I would ever purposely try and be famous; but if I were to do something great (emphasis on great), then I wouldn’t mind being famous as a result. The type of thing wouldn’t have to be something that makes a huge difference (it doesn’t have to be saving the world), but just something that affects other people positively (can include anything from music to activism to writing to science), not just being famous for the sake of being famous. I also wouldn’t mind being well-known in a community; a lot of people know my dad because of his job and he knows people who are even more well-known. It is pretty cool, but I don’t think I would ever try purposefully to be famous. Seems like people who do that are never famous for important or significant things.

Bonus: I have to say I really like the Balloon Boy Incident. The name is kind of sarcastic in itself and it even coined a term on UD. A “balloon boy” is now a term for someone who pretends to be in danger for attention…lol

erichw1504's avatar


Kid: “Ahh! Help me, I’m drowning!!!... garggle, garggle, splash
Other kids: “Haha, what a balloon boy, he’s just trying to get attention!”
Kid: garggle…......................

proXXi's avatar

I think it’s better to strive for fame by pulling stunts rather than going on a killing spree.

DominicX's avatar


I know I will use that term some day… :)


That would be more infamy. I’d rather people strive for famy than infamy. In some cases, the regular fame has become infamy. I doubt many people “like” Paris Hilton; it seems all people do is talk shit about her. Same with Kim Kardashian and Fred Phelps.

proXXi's avatar

I thought about the word infamy while typing my above response. It’s still all pathetic.

Poor Conrad Hilton. I can’t think of his lifes work without visualizing his dimwit spawn, flashing her twizzer, getting DUI’s in her Maclaren SLR , generally making an ass of herself…

DominicX's avatar

Of course, you can’t entirely blame them. We’re the ones giving them the attention. Even now, we’re giving them attention by mentioning them, even if it’s negative.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

People merely wish to be remembered. They wish to feel as though they have contributed to the culture, normally that in which they were raised, this can range from the local (couple of friends) to the phenomenon known as fame.

Perhaps it’s all of the bright lights and shiny cars?

SpatzieLover's avatar

All people are narcissistic to a point. Certainly everyone would like their efforts or abilities to be recognized.

These people are seeking more than healthy levels of attention and are indeed narcissistic.

@erich, my fav attention seeker (and the one that irritates me the most) is Jon Gosselin. He was just on TV again stating how much he and his girlfriend don’t like the paparazzi attention. ON TV saying they don’t want cameras around?!

hookecho's avatar

I call these types of people attention whores and avoid them at all costs. As to what makes them this way, I’d say deep down inside they feel worthless and boring, and thus must prove to everyone they’re not.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I think it has to do with societal values. Look at how we treat celebrities. Personally I find it ridiculous. They get paid more and treated better than our teachers, social workers, and law enforcement officers.

proXXi's avatar

This Flutherite doesn’t put celebrities on a pedestal. I’m looking at you Sean Penn, nobodys paying you to yammer on about politics

nebule's avatar


erichw1504's avatar

@lynneblundell In what department?

nebule's avatar

relationships with people…

Siren's avatar

I say money, especially in Heene’s case. Fame brings money. Endorsements. And free stuff (like celebrities get at film festivals).

I guess feeling important and recognized is another big reason too, if you need self- validation.

phoenyx's avatar

In response to the secondary questions, no, I don’t ever want to be famous. In fact, I tend to do a lot of things anonymously to avoid attention.

soph's avatar

I have another question going along with this. What all stunts have been pulled for attention. Like balloon boy?

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