When popularity ruins it

By Lorraine Lu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/26 15:08:40

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT


When something becomes "popular," it is no longer cool.

This has happened to me several times now, especially with fandom. I had loved Taylor Swift long before she became insanely popular. I used to play her album all day, while I was writing an essay, doing the laundry or in transit. I still like her, but it doesn't feel the same anymore.

When I first discovered one of my favorite bloggers, he had about 100,000 followers. But now that the number of his fans has grown a hundredfold, I find my feelings toward him changing. His writing is still as witty and provocative as before, but I no longer read everything and comment on every article like I used to.

This kind of twisted thinking is actually shared by many. The fashion industry is the best example. In the world of fashion, once everybody starts to wear the same design, it becomes outdated.

The most recent case for me is the word "two-dimensional." The two-dimensional world refers to the virtual world constructed by the anime, comic and games (ACG) culture. I have my favorite anime and games, and I used to be proud to be a member of the community. But now that the concept and phrase have become popular, I feel differently.

Once it becomes a word that my parents and their friends start to use, it's not cool anymore and becomes dead to me.

I find many of the new members to community annoying. They don't truly know what they claim to like.

It's mostly the "trend followers" who are the deal breakers. When something becomes mainstream, it attracts people with horrible tastes, who are just not that cool, or whom you don't want to associate with.

You might find it odd that somebody's liking the same thing that I like might stop me from liking it, but I guess I don't want to be considered ordinary. From the bottom of my heart, I still want to be a "cool kid."

On top of my desire to be different and cool, my change of heart also has something to do with over-saturation by the media. Suddenly information on my little treasure is everywhere.

Popularity can adversely affect things. When the fan base grows, it changes the community. When a comparatively more exclusive community starts to let in more people who are not as deeply into certain things as the older fans are, it changes the nature of the community.

It is not that I look down on those who follow mainstream trends, and it's not that I've got hipster blood. I just like things to be a bit more exclusive sometimes.

On top of one's profession and social class, the things you like and communities you belong to are also a part of what defines who you are.

Maybe I am also one of those "neophiles," people who enjoy change and hate tradition.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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