By Jazmin Jett |Staff Writer|
I’ve always found it mind-boggling how easily influenced human beings are. Even the slightest hint of majority rule and the scale tips towards the new fad. I find it even more perplexing that thinking for yourself and marching to the beat of your own drum has transcended from being what was once ridiculed, to what is now “hip”.
Peers of mine have even gone as far as misappropriating themselves as ‘weird’ or ‘anti-social’ in order to set themselves apart from everyone else. If one were to take the time for introspection and grasp the essence of their being they’d see that they are in fact, naturally different.
According to Dictionary.com, pop culture is the cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people. Its presence shapes the lives of every occupant on this planet. Whether being brainwashed by trends or consciously defying them, we are a product of its influence.
Pop culture’s influence is so forthcoming; those sustaining its vitality — celebrities, are paid more than those who sustain our own vitality – armed forces.
In particular, the average salary of a NBA player is about $5 million per year according to eHow.com. While profilesdatabase.com states a neurological surgeon only makes $589,500.00 a year.
When speaking with Courtney Petty, a student here at CSUSB, about her stance on pop culture’s influence, she felt that the significance pop culture has placed on the usage of technology has impaired communication indefinitely by suggesting that, “it seems everyone uses social networks and their phones to solely communicate, there’s barely any face to face interaction”.
I agree with Courtney’s stance. I also feel that relaying one’s thoughts online, whether for validation and/or therapeutic purposes, has become such a normalcy that being able to articulate one’s self in person has become a rarity. The concern with others opinions and up keep of one’s online presence has indefinitely distracted from what truly matters: self-awareness; in my opinion, lack of such has become the new trend.
I’ve always felt that the difficulty my peers have with being themselves initially stemmed from pop culture’s presence in high school.
High school, the most pertinent in our developmental stages, can also be the most traumatic/damaging to one’s self-esteem, self-image and knowledge of self.
In high school, those who were “cool” mostly maintained images that gained them notoriety but weren’t necessarily reflections of their genuine personality while those with the balls to be themselves and disregard what’s popular were mostly ridiculed and/or shunned for such.
On several occasions, I’ve encountered peers that were considered ‘cool’ in high school who claim they’re having a difficulty ‘finding themselves’. I feel that pop culture played a major role in such stagnancy, if not entirely.
The question will always stand: why are we encouraged, from birth, to idolize other human beings/materials instead of search for self-worth?
By all means, disregard the majority and be yourself.