"It's really popular right now!" is not a phrase that appeals to me. It will not entice me to read the book, see the movie, visit the place, eat the food, or do just about anything.
I guess you could say I'm counter-cultural, or a rebel, or weird.
And I do participate in some things that happen to be "popular," but I am not doing them solely because they are "the thing" that's "in."
"Everyone's read it but you," is not a phrase that will cajole me into what's mainstream. If so many people have read it, it's either really good, or they were caving to the peer pressure whether or not it is a book I would like.
I will read, watch, or do something if it has rave reviews from people I trust.
But even then, there is sometimes no allure for me. I like to hear about things a ton before I dive into them (which means I am sometimes late to the "party" so to speak.)
I like to hear reviews from trustworthy sources which include...
Books: My cousin Mallory, blogger Modern Mrs. Darcy, and close friends
Movies: Plugged In Online (which is the #1 resource I can ever recommend), my parents, and a sweet, wise adult friend Carissa
Music: Parents, A-Z Lyrics
Other categories: Parents (usually)
I refuse to do anything solely because it's "the thing" to do. If there are several good reasons to see it, read it, listen to it, or do it, I will.
But if it's popular, and that's all it has going for it, no thank you. If it's popular, and it has some negative elements that I am not comfortable with, all the moreso.
It's not that I think any of these things are wrong, but I rejected them for their popularity (and in some cases, more than that against them):
- The Hunger Games (Haters gonna hate. :))
- The Fault in Our Stars
- Harry Potter
- Eleanor and Park
Please note that I don't reject things because of their popularity all the time. I jumped on these trains (and, in some cases, did so before they actually became movies or became popular):
- The Giver
- The Maze Runner
- The Lord of the Rings
- Downton Abbey
See? I'm not completely countercultural. I'm just choosy, and I like to think I'm choosy in a good way.
This isn't to say "those books are bad and these books are good." It's to start conversation, so we can get to the bottom of what really drives us to start something new, whether it's a new craft, new hobby, new book series, or new tv show.
I've shared the sources that compel me. Now what compels you?