Being A Trend-Hater Doesn't Make You Cool Or Superior
In the last few years, there seems to be an uptick in people voicing how much they dislike popular things on social media. Not just making the offhand comment in a conversation, but legitimately making a scene about not liking whatever pop culture moment it is. You don’t have to like things that other people like. I mean, that’s obvious. But here’s the thing: You also don’t have to openly dislike popular things either. Like it’s some kind of badge of honor. When you take the time to talk about how much you dislike popular things, it doesn’t make you look cool — it makes you look like an asshole who is trying too hard.
Everyone has opinions, and of course we’re never all going to agree on all topics. But as someone who likes a lot of pop culture things that tend to be popular and trendy, I’m here to tell you: You’re 100% allowed to your opinion, but you don’t have to go out of your way to share it.
Anyone who is close to me knows how much I dislike Beyoncé. I have no qualms admitting it — the Beyhive doesn’t scare me. But unlike a lot of people who dislike Beyoncé, I keep my fucking mouth shut about it. On the day she released Homecoming, I saw all my friends posting about how excited they were to watch. Or sharing how much they enjoyed watching it. Never once did it occur to me to go on Facebook or Twitter and post about how much I can’t stand Beyoncé. Trust me, it’s a lot.
Sharing my dislike for the ever popular Mrs. Knowles-Carter doesn’t make me feel superior to my Bey-loving friends. We all like what we like. I may think they’re totally wrong (and that John Mayer’s cover of ‘XO’ is the better version) but I won’t go out of my way to announce it to try to gain ‘cool points’ for bucking a trend. Never have I ever thought, “You know, everyone needs to know that I hate Beyoncé today.”
People who dislike popular things aren’t new. As long as pop culture has been a thing, there have been people who talk about how much they dislike it. There were people who probably talked shit about things like how much they hated the taste of Coca-Cola when it first came out. People have always worn not liking The Beatles as a weird badge of honor. I grew up with people talking smack about teen pop acts. Having differing opinions isn’t a problem, it’s this idea that you are somehow more awesome for not liking what a lot of other people like. Lose the sense of superiority already, and let people enjoy things!
People used to have these conversations face to face. Now, with social media, everyone is being subjected to people’s unnecessary opinions at all times. That’s the thing that is really fascinating. Why do people go out of their way to be different? And it’s not really being different — it’s being purposely contrarian. How is being that way fun? It’s like literally no one will ask for your thoughts, and yet, here you are like, “I think Chrissy Teigen is ridiculous.” Well, good for you Brenda, but literally no one asked you.
Another example of people loving to dislike popular things is Game of Thrones. Full disclosure: I have never seen a full episode of the show. I don’t have any real feeling about it, other than that Kit Harrington is really hot and I’m disappointed he shaved his face. But, as much as I’ve seen people talking about their excitement, I’ve seen people bragging about never having seen an episode, like they are waiting for their trophy. Or disliking it without giving any sort of reason why.
Newsflash: You’re not special if you’ve never seen an episode of Game of Thrones. It’s actually quite easy to accomplish. Like, hi, it’s a cable network show, not the nightly news. If you don’t have HBO or access to someone with it, you’ve likely never seen it. Or if you don’t watch a lot of TV, you’ve likely never seen it. Again, not that hard. But like, that doesn’t deserve a trophy or a back pat. You didn’t find the fucking cure for cancer, you just don’t watch a popular TV show. Good for you.
When you take the time to openly dislike popular things, all you’re doing is taking up space. And sometimes, you’re making your friends feel judged, even if they don’t show it. Trust me, as someone who spent (and still does spend) a lot of time having to hear friends “brag” about how much they dislike popular things — be it a movie, TV or singer/style of music — it gets old. We’re not openly judging you and making you feel shitty about your personal choices, so why do you get to do that to us?
I have yet to understand what kind of satisfaction people get for taking the time to publicly dislike popular things. Do you get some sort of adrenaline rush when you hit “post?” Does it just feel really good to furiously type out how much you hate Taylor Swift? Please help me understand, because I’m stumped.
Making it a point to publicly dislike popular things is petty AF. You may think you sound all cool and badass for not keeping up with the Kardashians, but you don’t. Honestly, you just sound salty. As if you’re jealous of this popular thing because everyone is talking about it. And heaven forbid you not get to offer your hot take because you feel so superior.
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