Many tv shows, internet fads, fashion, and even memes go as quickly as they came. Constantly I am surrounded by friends, coworkers, and fellow consumers discussing, quoting, and living these little short lived moments and I have to say, it bores me to utter death.
I remember getting excited about different things and having them be important to society for a few months or so and then, only then, did the “true fans” hold out, but whatever it was still unique and cool in its own demographic. I can guarantee there are still Quidditch teams and there are still engaging and just plain awesome.
It seems now, though, that everything that is deemed “interesting” and “important” in the current limelight for society are just things that we desperately grasp onto and fiercely label them as a “look at me!” importance. It's life cycle goes from it being viral for a few days with a then quick diminishing of care till it is completely forgotten with time.
Does anybody really remember or care about Pokemon Go anymore? (I know with saying this I am still angering someone out there and my apologies). But let’s be honest, it was popular for a month and then the people who realized it took no skill and wasn’t fun anymore stopped playing and gained they’re lunch breaks back.
I even played it and with much gusto, but it soon lost its fancy sheen shockingly soon and I gave up on it. This happens with many games and apps alike, as well as songs in popular music. We realize it might seem flashy and catchy, but it leaves us feeling unsatisfied at a deeper level. This is why we try to fill that satisfaction with short lived phenomenon. One could say it’s addiction at its finest, as we try to fill that void in our curiousness and need for more and better with these inconsequential things.
I can tell you right now no one really likes listening to the top 40 music station. The music on there isn’t actually that good, but it's catchy if you're lucky. We put music, artists, and songs into the public eye that seem to exist for three or so weeks and then disappear into the world with a pat on the back and a star shaped sticker forever stamped upon it that reads “you tried.”
Even things like gloving, the Starbucks secret menu, and the Kardashians are still kind of relevant now even if just for a quick jab or joke. (But can we please just let Angry Birds die out please?).
Remember when Lady Gaga was all that we talked about? And for years? Remember when vaping was still cool and people spent time doing tricks with yo-yo’s and soon there was a culture built around it? You would find a larger group of people were surprisingly good at awesome yo-yo moves, certain dance routines, or intense smoke tricks from their vapes or hookah. People rode unicycles and made Chiptunes music with their actual Gameboys. They were interested in something that was neat and uncommon and for good reason.
Nothing is really “hitting the market” and sticking anymore because we are pathetically holding onto anything to just, well, hold on to something. It seems anything could hit the internet or someone's twitter feed and become immediately glorified and worshiped (and marketable). They'refilling that void for better and more.
One might say that this isn’t necessarily a negative blow to society, though I believe it is and it's in a majority of what we are doing and how we are doing it. I mean, emoji’s? I simply can’t look anywhere without finding emoji t-shirts, snapbacks, even bean bag chairs (where the entire chair is the face, yes, it is a horrendous as it sounds).
The thing is, concepts and items alike to emoji’s are found everywhere. You can see with or without your glasses that the vessels that the emoji’s travel upon are of poor quality and almost laughable in nature and design.
So why are we holding onto it so desperately? If we know this shirt looks awful and is being made in a sad factory somewhere for mere pennies, then why are we participating as consumers in this meaningless and sad society trend?
I can take a trip to my local Wal-Mart and find half an aisle dedicated to plastic cups with emoji prints for a whopping 84 cents. They are made of that plastic that makes you feel like it’s just that much nicer than a disposable cup but you’re too ashamed to have it in your own cupboard at home as it feels incredibly cheap and probably will give you cancer.
These kinds of items are meaningless and serve no real purpose. They can be compared to the novelty toys you get at the dentist’s office, at birthday parties for children, or just at the dollar store. They serve you a temporary happiness until the “new thing” mask wears off and you realize it’s just cheap ugly plastic that is discolored and the plastic snake you have has an eye painted in the wrong place and you will never ever use this emoji cup in public or rather, ever again.
So I bring this small rant back to the main question I have, which is a simple why? Why are we buying into bad merchandise, horrible music, ratherly boring news, and unimportant issues? This can’t be all that is being put into the world, but it seems that this is all that we are putting our outstretched hands out to like a child reaching out to their mothers for the next bite of food. "Feed me more!" we are saying.
And I can tell you, the world of business can see that this is what we “want” and will gladly serve it to us and fill our appetite for the dumb and mundane until we come back screaming for more. As consumers, we are telling them what we want is stuff, meaningless, unadorned, cheap stuff that holds no function or value. And they don't mind giving it to us as long as there is profit.
Now, I’m no professional when it comes to writing or expressing my ideas as you have probably gathered, but I really do hope this is a trend itself, and fades with time. Then we can move on to the good stuff and kick this crappy instant gratification with meaningless ideas and cheap materials goodbye. What are your thoughts and ideas? Are we diluting our interests and actions with just anything to fit our need to find something new to obsess over?