Jay Baer had a post the other day that set me thinking. About Facebook, the Web and individuality.
I’m not sure how coherent I’ll be, but I’m taking my shot.
I’ll start with Facebook. I have two accounts there. One is personal, one is blog-based. I rarely, if ever, go to either one. It was more the kind of thing that ‘everyone’ said to get on Facebook, so I did. Yeah, I know – foolish follower mentality. But I’m co-dependent, and want everyone to like me (not “like” me), so I “friend” them or “like” their page, to show I’m supportive. But.
I peruse links that are sent my way, and if I find a kindred spirit, or one that challenges me, or opens my eyes to new ideas, then I’ll subscribe. If I’ve “followed” you, or “friended” or “liked” you, it’s a safe bet that I’m one of your subscribers.
In a world where everyone is a member of the same set, with several subsets of members, there isn’t much room for individuation. If everyone “likes” the same stuff, there’s a smaller pool of available choices. You can’t stand out. It’s like tomatoes.
If you go to the market, chances are you’ll find two or three kinds of tomatoes: romas, ‘regular’, and ‘on the vine’. Do you have any idea of the vast number of varieties of tomato that exist? And all you see are three. Because of homogenization, and shipping needs, and complacency.
If you compare the taste of a fresh homegrown tomato to the taste of one that’s store-bought, I think you’ll get my point. You might prefer an Early Girl, or a Bog Boy, while I’m a devout Rutgers fan. They don’t look the same. They don’t smell the same. They don’t taste the same. So why should we?
Few people want to take risks. It’s risky to like something that no one else does. What if you get shunned for it?
When did belonging, fitting in, become paramount? You cannot do Epic Sh*t if you’re just like everyone else.
I’ve been seeing a commercial lately that I find profoundly disturbing. It’s two sports playing little boys who are enjoying a post-game treat. The coach bought it because they LOST. One kid says, “Ah, the sweet taste of victory”. His pal reminds him that they lost, “Ah, the sweet taste of defeat”.
They are NOT the same! What is wrong with winning? When did losing become OK, just as long as you tried your best?
If you are rewarded for losing, it devalues winning. If there is no incentive to win, why bother to try?
It may be true (and probably is) that everyone has something unique and special to offer this world. Well then – let’s get out there and be the BEST you possible. But let’s stop celebrating mediocrity and less-than-ness. According to Darwinian evolution, we’d all be krill for the one outstanding blue whale.