What kind of person are you?
Being or not being mainstream seems to be both simple and difficult complex. The simplicity lies in the fact that you are free to follow what’s trending these days. The difficult thing is that you are likely to be excluded from people around you for ‘failing’ to keep up.
It’s not supposed to be a bad thing, though. If you know about what kind of fashion that is trending these days and want to follow it, it’s fine. And if you don’t want to, it’s fine also. The thing is, not everyone has the need to keep up with the current trend.
The need to be mainstream appears to stem from our desire to fit in. We, humans, are social creatures, and it’s natural for us to want to be included in a community. When someone has become a part of a community, that person feels important. The thing is, to do so, we often come to the idea that we need to be like others. Do what others do. Like what others like.
It’s a good method of learning also. By being mainstream, we get to learn new things, and we won’t have to worry about getting left behind. We expand our minds and knowledge in the process.
Being mainstream does have a few downsides, however. By being, doing, and liking whatever people are invested in these days, as a means of fitting in, they may have lost their identity in the process. We are supposed to be both similar and different in every way. We have different tastes. But when we want to fit in, we may ignore it for the sake to be included. Because everyone does it, they want to try to do the same thing so they can keep up, no matter how good or bad the trend is. Those absurd and incredulous social media challenges can be one of those examples; they may be fun and dangerous, but people are currently talking about how cool it is, so the rest will follow suit regardless of the possible consequences, all because they don’t want to be excluded.
Additionally, being accepted in a society where everyone else has the same taste sounds plain, and they likely will not be noticed as much, because… then again, they are just like everyone else.
Meanwhile, being anti-mainstream also has its perks. In the time when people are competing to be the coolest or want to do the same thing because it’s trending, these anti-mainstream people stick to their beliefs and principles. Others may think them as tacky, outdated, or not cool. Some may label them as hipsters. But then again, why is it a bad thing?
While people may think these people who refuse to keep up with the trends to be not cool or unpopular, they tend to be creative in their own right, and some may be good leaders due to their defiance for not being a follower just for the sake of being accepted. Instead of being a follower, a creative anti-mainstream people may create new trends. And when it gains attention, people in turn start to follow their trends. In short, it can be said that anti-mainstream people can be trendsetters.
Another thing about them is that they are smart enough not to always blindly believe or follow what’s trending without knowing about the general insight first, such as how is it started, the pros and cons, and mainly, what good does it do for them. Plus, they know they have a sense of identity and are confident enough to live their lives without needing to completely follow what everyone else is hyping about.
The downside of being anti-mainstream is that they may be viewed as stubborn and can be close minded. Anti-mainstream people will be likely to have a harder time to adapt to new things and overcome the challenges that get in their way, especially when others have started to do the same thing. They may be resistant to changes, which can be both advantageous (they know what they want in spite of others’ opinions and can’t be easily demotivated) and hindering to themselves (slowing down their own personal growth and stick to their comfort zone). People may also see them to be difficult to work with or talk to because of how often they disagree with.
And lastly, there is an illusion of being anti-mainstream, but is actually pretty mainstream because there has been a lot of similar people with similar routine plans. These people usually believe they’re different and unique for doing something positive for themselves, and start to invite others to do the same. Some of them may believe in a certain principle such as “train insane or remain the same”. While this is indeed a positive encouragement that is beneficial for themselves and others, calling themselves different or not the same as everyone else seems can be a little too far fetched, especially when it can be seen that there has been a lot of people doing the exact same thing, with possibly the same result and the same goal. In short, they are already the same as everyone else.
There are people who call themselves influencers, but who or what they are trying to influence is almost not entirely clear. They likely mean well, and occasionally these people think they are different from the rest because of what they are doing, influencing people to do certain practices or buy certain products. However, since there has been a growing number of influencers these days, they are not really different at all, and so, being one can probably be considered as a mainstream thing to do. To their credit, though, not anyone can pull it off and being looked up to easily.
None of these ideas are completely good or bad thing, since they both have their perks, and what good do they do depend on each and everyone. If you have the same purpose as one of your favorite idols, then it’s fine. If you want to do something differently from the rest and it works for you, then good for you. The thing is, no matter what we believe in, we still have to work hard to achieve and get whatever we want.
And don’t worry about not fitting in. Whether we fit in or not, we certainly can’t please anyone and there will always someone who has reasons not to like us.
So… What kind of person are you?