Nowadays, there is a new trend almost every day. With how fast word travels through social media, something will always take the center of attention at all times. Be it a fresh web show on Netflix, the newest hit song or an up-and-coming artist. But with great popularity also comes great criticism. It is basically impossible for anything to receive positive feedback from everyone, as people have different tastes and cannot be catered to individually. Among these people are those who simply choose to dislike things solely due to their popularity.
Side note: Although I have written ‘criticism’ above, it is not the topic being discussed here. Constructive criticism offers suggestions for improvement and is often objective but is not synonymous to hate.
Currently, it is trendier to hate trends than it is to like them. And from a general point of view, that makes sense. Constant and repeated overexposure to the same thing on the internet is enough to make anyone inclined to hate it.
However, it has become more of blind bandwagoning than rightful dislike lately. As soon as something starts garnering popularity right now and looks on the way to being approved by the vast majority, some people will come out to publicly announce their disinterest in it, in an attempt to remove themselves from the generalization. And that is understandable when it stems from personal preferences, but not when the sole purpose is to look ‘cool’ or ‘different’.
Not long ago, someone shared a positive review of a famous romantic comedy in a private Facebook group. More than half of the comments were users attacking the person’s ‘boring’ taste. In recent years, people have been enjoying being the ‘exception’. Being called basic for having a tendency to lean toward all things commercial has become somewhat of an insult, that for some, it is absolutely crucial to stand out. To separate themselves from the herd.
An urgent strive for uniqueness is one of the reasons why people do this. Online, there are over a million and one ways with which social media insists on individuality; I could list countless quotes on that matter. But while being your own person is an essential personality trait, it is perfectly fine to be in the same category as the majority in certain situations. Giving in to the latest fashion trend or genuinely appreciating a new Pop song is not as terrible as people make it out to be.
Simply put, it is also a lot easier to just let people like whatever brings them joy. However, mainstream their preferences might seem. In fact, this sentiment, in particular, inspired comic artist Adam Ellis to draw the following illustration which has since gone viral.
Speaking to VOX, Ellis said: “It’s supposed to be about people who trash popular stuff to seem interesting or cool […] It’s criticizing people who seem to build their personality around hating stuff ” And when you really think of it, if something has managed to achieve wide popularity, it most likely has some redeeming qualities about it, even if very small.
At the end of the day, whether today’s music is generic or new movies are riddled with clichés, having a quirky taste puts no one in a position to shame other people’s own personal preferences.
Author: Nour Nachoua Nait Ali.