Thursday, 26 December 2013

Where are all the real people?

I went to the Winter Carnival at my brother's school last Sunday. Reminded me of school. High school, especially. Dressing up on the one day you can, with all the latest trends in place. Dance and music performances for about 5 mins each, for which they practiced and practiced for weeks, planning every detail.

High school was when self-discovery began. The only thing is, you're influenced by so many things you're confused about what you want to be. And for most people, being popular, being what other people like becomes more important. It's been five years since school, I feel so old.

And now it's different. Everyone has changed. Everyone seems to have had enough self-discovery, or are tired with it and have decided on a stereotype they need to fit. Then they've proceeded to add 'layers' to their personality and it's impossible to recognize them. What happened to simplicity? Honesty?

Can people not have normal honest conversations? Would it kill to not spew quotes from poems and obscure literature and famous/not-so-famous people? Or post heavily edited photographs of god-knows-what which no one will even look at if you don't have a thousand words of deeply thought-provoking text riddled with esoteric symbolism? I certainly don't mind the editing and I absolutely love photographs but what happened to 'a picture speaks a thousand words'? Or what about an honest photograph with a caption you made on your own? That would be so much more personal and meaningful.

It looks like everyone is so busy trying to be someone rather than actually being someone, that they think people will not take them seriously unless they act like their minds are buzzing with profound thoughts that they need to express in long paragraphs with an excessive number of full-stops, peppered liberally with hastags. Or be 'fun' by being affectedly silly or making ridiculous words.

And why? Because you need to be exclusive. Which is an irony because apparently, the less people understand you, the cooler you are.

Of course there are genuinely talented people who do all this. And surprisingly, even though everyone else is getting better and better at pretending, you can still tell the wannabes apart. Because they lack originality.

People who were creative, vivacious, and had their own texting lingo (which was sometimes incomprehensible, I admit) now seem to have become these sombre individuals who would not use a smiley unless they wanted to commit social suicide. Yes, thank you for the return of comprehensible, grammatically correct English, but I'd rather have the text lingo back because it was so much more real, so much more you. Don't get me wrong, I love it when people write well. But it's more about what you're trying to say than the fancy words.

To me, honesty, simplicity and originality are cool. Being fake, pretentious and unnecessarily abstract is not. Really, you don't have to be perfect or exceptional at something, or pretend to.

Having said all this, I realize it might be just me who is the odd one out. But whatever. I want to see real people. People I can talk to without being judged. Or without spending every second of the conversation wondering what the hell is going on. It's too much trouble. I mean, I have enough trouble talking people as it is. Or it might just be my fault I don't know enough about everything, or pretend to.

Please, people, be yourself. Be real.

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