Against The (Mainstream) Current

This is too mainstream, that is too mainstream.

The present-day Internet meme is bombarded with ‘anti-mainstream’ posts to show uniqueness and, at times, foolishness. Entertaining? Definitely. Enlightening? Most definitely. Are you serious? Of course I am.

Let’s look at the world’s perspective of the Internet meme. Majority sees it as modern entertainment, stress reducer, procrastination inducer, or whatever meaning which revolves around ridding stress, diminishing productivity and gaining fun. Now dive deeper. ‘Anti-mainstream’ posts are memes, so technically, you might say, it kills stress and productivity but boosts fun.

Here is where I say that ‘anti-mainstream’ posts are ‘anti-mainstream’ memes.

‘Anti-mainstream’ posts tell some of the most amusing stories, but they also provide a valuable lesson to be learned.

They tell us that (1) being anti-mainstream attracts huge attention from the public and could make you insta-famous, and (2) societies quickly forget the huge hits.

The first point is obvious: if you swim against the current and do something extraordinary, attention is just tailing behind you and will soon catch up. The second point, however, seems destructive to the first. You’ve gained attention, but you’ll lose it again, just like how songs in Billboard 100 are replaced by newer and better ones or memes that people will eventually forget (remember Bad Luck Brian?). So why bother swimming against the current in the first place?

For starters, the second point will save your butts if ever you’d end up humiliating yourself publicly. You’ll feel uncomfortable at first, but then only a few will remember after some time.

Now imagine that you literally are swimming against the current in a stream. If you stop swimming, you’d be swept away. The same applies to pursuing anything that is anti-mainstream. To get attention, you have to start swimming. To hold on to it, you have to keep swimming. The reason why so many failed to hold on to their reputation is that they do not continue their pursuit once they think that they’re acknowledged. Losing attention is an avoidable decision.

Don’t bother about what other’s voices tell about you. If you’re passionate about something that goes against the current, then go for it. Once you start swimming against the current, don’t stop. As Dory from Finding Nemo puts it (childhood saved): just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

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