I like to think of news stories as memes, and "Top Stories" as "Most Popular Memes." As news breaks, the list of most popular memes keeps changing, cycling, recycling, etc. As people absorb these memes, naturally they like to talk about them. In some ways, it's almost robotic, or puppet-like. In fact, I enjoy depicting this by using my two hands as impromptu puppets, pointing them at each other, and then having them talk like this:
Hand-Person One: "Hey! Did you hear about Number One Meme? Man! That sure is scary or cool or awful or heartwarming!"
Hand-Person Two: "Yes, I did hear about Number One Meme. But that's not what interests me most right now. What really interests me is Number Four Meme."
Hand-Person One: "Really?! I hadn't even heard about Number Four Meme yet. I was mostly caught up thinking about Number One Meme, and whenever I did take a break from thinking about that, all I could think about were Memes Numbers Two and Three."
Hand-Person Two: "Yes. I have to admit, Memes Numbers Two and Three are both quite significant. We will certainly all feel much better or worse now that those things have occurred."
I know this is a cynical way of looking at it, but it helps me be a little less robotic, a little more self-aware, whenever I'm talking about the same things that everyone else is talking about. Sure, I still indulge in talking about Most Popular Memes, but at least I'm aware that it's happening at the time. Usually, if I'm on top of my game, I remember also to make a face indicating disgust and then spit symbolically on someone's shoes. That always makes me feel a little more superior.