Centralizing Culture

It’s endearing to the extent of having a nice chuckle over the internet with a random friendly stranger during a friendly game of League. But use it as a part of a day-to-day conversation, overuse it, or make it like a personal thing, and I will “jokingly” throw things at you while pretending to be very entertainedby what you said.

What I am talking about is memes being spread around and used like a plague on social networks (and, for some humor-forsaken reason, reality). Don’t misjudge me yet, hear me out!

Disclaimer: I won’t throw anything at you, but I will be annoyed.

Oh and before you raise your pitchforks and start calling me a hipster or a witch or whatever:
Yes, I know not everything mainstream is bad, but that does not remove the fact that we do like to feel special to an extent. Yes, it may be due to the “Disney/Hollywood Hero” image that we all grew up seeing, but this isn’t a communism (mainstream) vs democracy (individuality) post; I’m not discussing politics.

…..

To start off, I admittedly (hypocritically maybe? Not exactly) do rarely go on 9gag every now and then just looking for a “laugh” (more like a fast exhale) when I absolutely don’t have anything to do for 10 minutes before I go sleep or something; Yes, I do use social media to connect with people (and toss the blog around every now and then), and yes I do share the occasional funny picture. But I do not like the direction these things combined are pulling us in.

It’s just the idea that this media globalization is tending to remove a lot of personal touches out of humor (among many other things). After the early 9gag hype died down, I realized that me and my friend used to have those little “personal jokes” referencing things in movies and games that we enjoyed together when we were in the 5th grade. And it was nice when it happened, we sort of ended up having our own language, and we would giggle along in class with nobody getting why we did. Technically we had our own little 9gag site between the two of us.

I do understand it being a lot more global than just our “own thing”, though. Sometimes when you watch something with another person (the comedy show “Friends” is a prime example of this) and then you both get the references to the funny moments in the show, I guess it happens naturally that people repeat what they find to be good. Then you laugh about it and use it in certain situations and it fits.

We used it in our own context, just like how some creative people “research” and find new ideas they could “use” by changing minor details and using them in their own way. That’s inspiration isn’t it? Hell, that’s creativity isn’t it? Just using the many different things you have seen in your field to create a new thing that speaks of your personality in a way or another.

However, a huge piece of the original intent/concept could get deeply lost in such adaptations and usage of different “things” and “ideas”. And that is where the huge, mass-product scale of things gets extremely annoying. Like pop music, like the common shirt that everyone wears, our humor is just another commodity, rather than a personal bond. Basically, it was fine and personal when we were doing it when we were kids, maybe now I realize it because it reminds me of simpler times (typical, eh?), but one thing is for sure, I can relate to and converse with a small group comfortably because it was not in the large scale of a global community (9gag); i.e I think it’s just a matter of proportion; the sense of “too much” and “too little”, even in social interactions.

Now that I think about it some more, I bet a huge amount of our globalizing generation had the same kind of experience while growing up (personal jokes and whatnot). Maybe that’s why there are so many people who connected with the idea of websites such as 9gag. We are making our own culture, just like the one we got used to while growing up. And there you have all the people commenting and trying to involve themselves more in this community, and it feels great to belong in a group and have yourself be accepted rather than rejected.

But I digress… I think that’s why some people are reacting to this phenomenon of centralizing culture by being rebellious, not against politics and decision-makers, like in the 70’s and 80’s, but rather against this loss of personality and true personalized local experience.

That’s why so many companies are riding the bandwagon of “personalization” and “customization”.
That’s why there are so many “hipsters”.

Maybe we are starting to seem more and more like sheep to ourselves lately due to the awareness of how alike we all are; due to the globalizing cultures. This probably happened before, and is just a pattern with different names for the groups mentioned.

Individuality vs Mainstream
Democracy vs Communism
Hand-made vs Mass-production
The Hippie vs The Working class

Anyway…

It’s pretty much like a processing machine of memes, and thus, culture. The ideas go in, the vote page decides what remains in our culture and what leaves, be it designs, stories, history, lovable figures, one-line wonders, etc. That’s pretty much the internet, too; the more people see something on the internet and like it and share it, the more acceptable it becomes in the global culture (the internet). So it’s all just a globalization thing, pretty much. It kind of gives me the feeling like even culture, jokes, ideas, idols are just tossed around like mass-produced, easy-to-come-by commodities.

Why interact with your friends and stress yourself out trying to gain social skills when you can have it all online!

…..

The point I’m trying to make is, that since our social circles are technically limitless, we do not feel as special anymore, and it’s like all the culture is slowly moving to being mass-produced.

Maybe this post is weeping in the memory of when it was just good friends who got the way you talk, understood your face’s silence, and just good friends who laughed at you making a joke about something you shared together; in contrast to everyone knowing exactly where your joke came from and what you are thinking, and them thinking they could join in. I mean sure it’s fun and games, but the moment it’s overdone, it’s taking over your own personal touch on things and your relationship with others; it isn’t local. It’s just not healthy if you ask me, everything has to be adapted and molded to fit into millions of micro-scale localisations and then fit into a bigger scale, and slowly grow out of that micro-managed environment to become a harmonic whole.

This is probably what would happen after things slow down, and not so many new ideas are suddenly being injected into societies. And then these ideas would disperse and balance around in the society, until every single member of society has come to terms with it. Kind of like evolution, being a set of trials and errors and survival of what works, the same would happen to us, as if we were the little tiny cells that create the huge living creature.

I do understand where it’s all coming from and I’m not bashing anyone for commenting “friendzoned LOL” on every single picture of a guy and a girl they see (but come on, at least be creative, people). But I like things nice, cozy, and thoughtful, rather than blown out of proportion and sickeningly overused via copying and blind imitation. Oh, and if you think it’s better the way things are going, to a centralized culture deprived of local/personal adaptation and character, where all humor is passed around like paperwork in an office, then since we’re all already on the way, I disrespectfully agree.

Truth is, it just won’t ever get that far.

…..

I guess,

Saed

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About saedt

An immature empath, a music hobbyist, an architect, and a dreamer.

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