Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The theme of "popular" was proposed by the It caught my attention because I detest the word and its implications of pleasing other people just to build one's ego. How needy can people be that they seek to be popular to other people? I feel very independent and conformity doesn't appeal to me. I think of the word in terms of human relationships rather than how the word is used in relation to other choices such as which products we choose to buy or which books we choose to read or which movies we choose to view. It is just a word that indicates many have made the particular choice so that something becomes called "popular".

Of course as teenagers, everyone wanted to be "popular" but it was a shallow goal. It was a temporary setting and wanting to be included is normal, but doing things to make oneself fit in can become the road to ruin. Anytime we compromise our own values, we aren't admired but used. Being able to make choices freely is what our country is all about. We don't like predetermined decisions forced upon us.

When I was a teenager, I liked to observe the confident people who seemed to have a goal for the future in mind and pursued it to the exclusion of the need to "run with the popular crowd". I admired those people who kept their own counsel and chose their own path. Those were the days before the independent thinkers became the targets of the bullies of the "in crowd". There is great pressure today to conform and fit into the norm of the particular locale. It almost seems like an effort to hold people back so the oppressors don't have to compete. In my opinion, people worry too much about what other people think. 

The dreaded class reunions are a lesson to all of us that the "popular" crowd doesn't necessarily deal well with life beyond high school popularity pursuits. I am speaking in generalities based on my own life experiences and I prefer not to get into the specifics of various relationships from my own teenage years. It just isn't even important enough to me to even recount those incidents. Needless to say, I never felt it necessary to pursue the concept of being "popular". I make my own choices for whatever reasons seem right to me, not because someone has determined that it is the "popular" choice. I have been accused of not being a "team player" and that is probably true. I march to my own drummer.


  1. I always enjoy thinking about other people's take on things that impact all of us. I was an Air Force brat so I moved around all the time while I was growing up. It made it possible for me to be the "new girl" most of the time and I learned to make superficial acquaintances. I suspect these days I would have been bullied but back then it wasn't an issue. I was never "popular" but not on the outside, either.

  2. "Popularity" is a strange thing ... I think it causes a lot of angst because so many of us are brain washed inot thinking that it is desirable. I must admit that sometimes I am not as frank and open as I ought to be, for fear of treading on someones toes!

  3. "effort to hold people back so the oppressors don't have to compete" is spot on. I was not a follower as was not in with a particular crowd. I moved around so much I barely knew people at whatever school I attended, four different high schools. I didn't bother anyone and stuck up for myself if someone bothered me. I didn't get attached to anyone because I knew it was temporary anyway. And I didn't seem to be interested in the things the other kids were going on about. Dating was a natural for me, I didn't need to talk about boys, I just went places with them, games and movies and picnics. I feel sorry for young people who spend their learning years trying to fit in and following what the popular kids are doing instead of finding what is right for them. I like this post, getting readers to consider whether we are individuals with brains or sheep watching Fox news.

  4. Hey, R.J., welcome to The One-Minute Writer!