Sunday, January 24, 2021

Fads alienate those choosing not to follow

It’s Sunday night, and last night’s debauchery is a fading story for the 30th college reunion. You’ve nursed your hangover and want some downtime with your friends before re-entering the week’s crushing grind.

You call them up, but they’re all busy watching “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones” or whatever the current TV seasonal flavor is. It sounds good just hanging out and watching some TV, but there is one problem: You’re not a fan of any of these shows.

“What do you mean you’re not a fan of (insert name of show here)?” asks your friend. “I’m just not a fan of it,” you reply.

The conversation spirals like this for a while with your friend making the case for something you have no interest in or knowledge of.

It is reminiscent of past playground scenes such as trading “Pokemon” cards or a discussion of the latest antics of the “Power Rangers.”

In all these situations, there is always someone left on the outside looking in. Sentences passed by as if someone’s speaking to you in a foreign language. There is also the feeling of trying to convince yourself you’re not a weirdo because you don’t understand the hype.

But there is something you can do on both sides of this alienation, whether you’re the one raving or the one being raved to.

The first step in it all is to take the advice of every parent out there: “Just give it a try.” It may not seem like your thing at first, but this current phenomenon, whether it be a TV show or movie, may be the expectation. If it really isn’t, the worst that’s lost is a couple hours or so and a couple dollars.

Then there is the idea that if you don’t enjoy something, just say so, but don’t try to be antagonizing about it. You may not like “The Walking Dead” or whatever you want to substitute in, and that’s fine, but there’s no need to go around saying that everyone who likes a certain show is dumb and that it’s a thing for only stupid people. That’s just unneeded negativity. There is a fine line between genuine criticism and a negative attitude.

On the flip side, if your friends are not into the latest entertainment fad, there is no need to hassle them over their dislike of it. They simply don’t like it — not much more is needed than that.

Also, after the first time they say they’re not interested, don’t pressure them with reasons they might like it. We all know the hyperbole “this show changed my life.” But some take it on too strongly.

Similarly, there is no need to say things like “You just don’t get it,” or “If you understood it, you’d like it.” I’m sure your friend understands it and has no problem comprehending what it is you are saying. They want no part in it.

Excitement and passion is good, but not everyone wants to hear about the latest happenings in “Game of Thrones” or what have you, especially those who aren’t interested.

So if you’re on the in of whatever entertainment fad, it might be best to just enjoy it and those who also love it will flock to it in their own due time. It’s OK to mention it to someone that’s never heard of it, but if they don’t want anything to do with it, well then that’s that.

If you’re on the outside looking in, just keep in mind that there is nothing abnormal about not liking the “it” thing — it will fade away in time. Do you even remember what Pogs are? Exactly.

Email Luis Reyes at

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