Popularity vs Preference: Today’s Cost of Social Acceptance

In elementary school we all wanted those cool new shoes. The ones the popular girls wore that lit up and had sparkles on them. In middle school, we begged our parents for a cell phone so that we too could gossip with the rest of the cool kids. High school made us crazed with the desire for a car, simply so we could park in the student parking lot. Social media was a priority and watching reality TV was a necessity. The desire to fit in never seemed to end. Thankfully we’ve all grown out of that phase…..or have we?

From the phones in our pockets to the statuses we post on Facebook, today’s adults seem to continue to fight their battle of social acceptance. We blow our bank accounts on the newest technology and services that we may hardly even use. There is now a sense of social security by simply walking into a room with an expensive technological device! Some of us continue watch films or television that we may even hate just so we can join in a conversation at work the next day. Is this clone like behavior acceptable or should we feel more comfortable breaking the mold?

Where can we draw the line between what we truly enjoy versus what society finds socially acceptable? Today’s media may not exactly be your cup of tea. Coverage of celebrity gossip and the focus on temporary trends is now key. In general, this entertainment seems to leave zero impact towards anyone or anything. They are figures that stay for a bit when convenient but then disappear, carrying their shadow along with them. Pop culture. Trends. Gossip. Does anyone truly enjoy these topics or are journalists and producers unknowingly creating this material as a mere conversation starter? Credit is not being correctly distributed. We all have topics that we truly enjoy but are not showing enough outward devotion to them. Sweeping our socially unacceptable means of entertainment under the rug does nothing but take credit away from where it is truly due. Less enjoyable topics, celebrities, television, electronics and even ideals are being emphasized while the real gems of today get pushed aside.

Not to mention the money we are throwing down the toilet in order to be a part of this societal in-crowd. While filmmakers or even authors may be rolling in cash, we find ourselves unfulfilled and out of money. Buying tabloid magazines, paying for premium cable, picking up that new trashy romance novel and going to the movies to see another vampire film with friends quickly adds up. Sure, you can gain social power from it all, but how much is that power even worth? You end up discussing topics you didn’t even enjoy. What kind of common bond is that?

So next time you notice a three hour line at the movie theatre, instead of pulling in to join the crowd, maybe you should go home and rent a film you may actually enjoy. Call up your “friend” who is in the line for the newest iPhone and invite them to drop by and join you. You have to start somewhere.

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