An “Unpopularizer” Babbles
I have never been a very popular person and I think it’s due to this lack of such quality, that I am often puzzled by the fact that many crave for it. Take the popular video-sharing website for instance. Generally speaking, the more views you have, the more popular you are—and for the most part, people consider this synonymous to success. There are all kinds of blogs out there (such as ours, right here on this very website), and when you sign up for one, the website will inundate you with all kinds of advice as to how you can get more people to visit your “virtual island” in the vast ocean that is the Internet.
It all looks good, right? Not to me, though. Well, you can say I missed this bandwagon a long time ago, but let’s be more constructive and dig a bit deeper and see what we find down there. (By the way, calling popularity a “bandwagon” might be a misnomer, since the idea—being popular—has existed well before someone invented the float usually used in parades and such, from which the expression “jumping on the bandwagon” originates. Ah well.)
My first argument against popularity is this: I don’t believe in collective thinking. When you delegate your own cognitive function to someone else, you’re not really thinking anymore. Ayn Rand once wrote in The Fountainhead that to such individuals, there is “…no sense of reality. Their reality is not within them, but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another; not an entity but a relation—anchored to nothing.” And I always try my hardest not to let that happen to me. But when you follow anything popular, you’re turning to others to make a decision for you. And I don’t, and ironically, this is why I am not popular in a very literal way.