I tend to struggle with things that are super popular. I resisted reading Harry Potter for a long time, I can’t stand any of the TV shows that involve contestants singing or dancing, and there are even trends in home decoration that I think are idiotic (which I will not mention specifically, in the hope of preserving friendships). I suppose the bottom line is that I hate feeling like I’m part of a herd.
I think it’s important for us to carefully evaluate what we come into contact with, in order to choose what's worth our time. But am I going too far by deliberately avoiding things that a lot of other people like? I mean, obviously a lot of people find something redeeming in American Idol. (As a side note, my wife was recently at a baby shower where people looked at her like she was insane for not watching it.) There’s a demotivator at despair.com that sums it up nicely: “Tradition—just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.” Along those same lines, just because a lot of other people like something doesn’t mean it’s worth liking.
So I guess it boils down to this question: Which is worse, liking something because other people do, or not liking something because other people do?
[Okay, I suppose the real answer is that either way I’m allowing others to dictate what I’m doing. But I want to hear your thoughts on this.]