Okay, let me be honest. I am not really your go-to person regarding anything related to pop culture. I mean, I do enjoy my dose of entertainment, but what I watch and listen to is hardly ever at the top five of what’s trending.
I’m always the last person to hop onto the latest Netflix show or movie (to really put it into perspective I have only recently started watching New Girl). I never know what’s happening in celebrity news, so I’m always lost when I see Twitter discourse and memes discussing current events. The only thing I pride myself on regarding how up-to-date I am on art and content as it pertains to pop-culture is discovering musicians before they make it big.
So what’s the deal? Why am I so uninterested in pop culture news and trends? You might be expecting a detailed, thought-out explanation. Maybe even a critique of pop culture’s influence on society. But in all honesty, I’m not sure I can directly pinpoint the exact reason. Rather, my resistance to pop culture is a combination of several reasons that have caused me to be in the dark about what’s trendy for years.
Rather, my resistance to pop culture is a combination of several reasons that have caused me to be in the dark about what’s trendy for years.
When I was a teenager, I started out knowing almost everything surrounding pop culture. My best friends and I could be found discussing the popular trends and news of the time with genuine enthusiasm and interest. However, when I entered university, I began enclosing myself into a niche shell. I only surrounded myself with news and trends that pertained to my particular interests.
As the years went on, my shell only narrowed more until I consumed as much content as a straw could hold. At that point, I was barely interested in popular culture anymore.
Now, the reason why I stay away from pop culture discourse is that I reached my capacity for news and information. Taking in trends, celebrity news and the constant overload of content began to take a toll on me. I felt as though my mental health was affected by all that I was internalizing: the negative news, the mean comments, the critiques, and the unnecessary hate that often comes with discourse about popular culture. It kind of made me feel, even though I’m a “regular” person, that I could never make a mistake because there would always be a crowd of people ready to ambush me.
Although that will probably never happen, the thought still left me feeling uneasy.
But why am I still so late to the newest entertainment trends and products? I often and subconsciously don’t want to be included in the mainstream crowd. If there’s something popular that everyone is talking about, I immediately lose interest in the subject or content. I might start watching the show or movie years later once everyone has stopped talking about it. It’s like an automatic switch in my head that refuses to be part of the crowd. But in turn, this isolates me from connecting with others (thanks, brain).
Ultimately, what I must reflect on is whether all these reasons are worth the social isolation. I end up missing out on the hype and excitement that is shared by others in real-time. I also miss out on connections that could’ve been formed if I took more interest in popular culture phenomena. I know that I could very easily take a break from the news if I felt I was having an information overload. So why do I still resist pop culture at the expense of being able to connect with others?
Because that is ultimately what pop culture does- it brings us all together and unites us despite our differences.
Perhaps I should allow myself to be part of the status quo and immerse myself in the excitement, the discussions, and even the outrage. Perhaps engaging with pop culture wouldn’t be the death of me. Even more, it might be the start of something new: community, friendship, or just a sense of belonging. Because that is ultimately what pop culture does- it brings us all together and unites us despite our differences. As cliché as that all sounds.
It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do relating to pop culture favorites from The Office to Emily In Paris, but I think I might finally be ready to jump into it. So, here’s to finally knowing where all the memes come from.
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