People should avoid blindly hating on anything popular, have informed opinions on their tastes


Austin Guo and Jillian Moore

It’s a familiar ritual at this point: I see what’s trending and a part of me just scoffs at it and dismisses it. I see all the buzz and the memes about it and they quickly grow old. It gets oversaturated and then I crawl back into my bubble, isolated from the mainstream. If this all sounds really pretentious to you, that’s because it is. With the Grammys coming up on April 3, I’d like to encourage myself and anyone who may share these attitudes to ease up a little bit and move away from blind contrarianism.

I will be completely honest and say that I have not listened to most of the music that is nominated for these awards at the Grammys. However, when I used to scoff at these songs and call them “shallow,” I usually withhold judgment now. Simply, it is unjust to dismiss media when you’ve never even at least given it a chance. Making these judgments would be akin to making a claim with no evidence to support it. So why do we sometimes do it so much?

It’s easy to fall into this trap. When you see something so many times everywhere, you start to get tired of it. And obviously, everyone wants to be unique or stand out in some way. Personally, what changed my attitude was the realization that my own tastes were no better than any “mainstream” tastes. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big “Undertale” fan. When the new chapter of “Deltarune,” a sort of companion game to “Undertale,” released last year, I became the very type of person I would have scoffed at: I talked about the game everywhere and participated in all of the hype around it. The whole experience showed me how silly it was a lot of the time to blindly criticize anything popular now that I was now thoroughly enjoying something popular. A work’s so-called “obscurity” had absolutely no bearing on its quality or appeal and exclusively liking less mainstream media did not automatically make someone “cooler;” taste at the end of the day is personal.

This is not to say that anything mainstream is immune to criticism or that everyone who has complaints with whatever’s popular at the moment is just jaded and obstinate. Everyone has their own opinions and tastes; just make sure yours are informed. Blind contrarianism helps no one; in fact, it could stop you from finding something you might end up liking and it certainly does no good for the people around you. Ultimately, giving whatever you’re watching, listening to, or reading a chance and formulating your own opinion on it is what’s most important.