Is it just me, or has there been a recent influx of mob-mentality viewpoints?
I mean everything – from opinions on entertainment, to political platforms, to religious broadcasts, to health and fitness… Even to food for fuck’s sake…
When did we lose the ability to form our own opinions?
When I was a kid, I was somewhat of a nerd. But that word doesn’t mean now what it did then. Being a nerd used to be a bad thing. It had connotations. It was a liability. The weird thing is, it normally didn’t have anything to do with what we’ve now come to accept as “nerdy” qualities. Being a nerd when I was one meant that you were an outcast. Some of us were smart. Some of us were unkempt. Most of us were socially awkward – even amongst ourselves. Most of us enjoyed video games. Some of us enjoyed sports. It was a very different thing to be a nerd then.
Now, it seems that “nerd” is an all-encompassing word. It means you like things that you think nobody else likes. (Hint: you’re wrong)
It reminds me of heavy music, in a way. People just have this frustratingly annoying need to classify things. Once a classification is made, then the division is clear between one thing and another, and people can start making claims. Oh, you listen to punk? Better not say that too loud, or some metalhead will hate you.
It’s weird. It seems that as soon as somebody accepts a classification, they automatically accept all the rest of the mob-mentality bullshit that goes along with it. People are looking to their classifications of things to decide whether or not they like them, rather than just weighing things out in their mind and accepting what they agree with.
I am more than my classifications. I love heavy music. I also love pop music. I’m allowed to love both, I don’t give a shit what people think. I enjoy science. I don’t really enjoy the Big Bang Theory sitcom. Just because I like one, doesn’t mean I like the other. I can think for myself.
I read past headlines. I don’t click on clickbait. I don’t accept assertions. I don’t accept things based on a majority. I ignore minor issues when I want to hear about major ones. I refuse to be distracted. I can research. I know what to look for.
Jesus Christ, I’m rambling here…
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that mob-mentality irritates me to no end. I don’t want people to be proud to belong to a group that may only marginally represent them. I don’t want people to choose inclusiveness over individuality. I don’t want people to close themselves off to other ideas and possibilities – at least not without scrutiny.
And I especially don’t want people to view everything in black-and-white terms. The world isn’t that fucking easy.
I want people to think for themselves. At least more often than they do now. I want people to see that it’s ok to be contradictory. You can be liberal on some issues and conservative on others. You can like more than one kind of music. You can eat healthy, even if you don’t exercise. You can exercise, even if you don’t eat healthy. You can agree with someone, even if you don’t plan to follow their actions. You can disagree with something, and still do it. It’s all part of being human, believe it or not.
Basically, I think we need to cool it with the labels. Labels are divisions. Society lately seems to want to create even finer divisions, and even more specific labels. No matter how specific they are, if you let a label describe you, you’re doomed.