A few years ago an article was posted entitled, “The Problem With Average Not Being Good Enough.”
The author, Brianna Wiest, attempted to explain the current human condition of many young people. Although she never explicitly stated it regarded young adults, I surmised it must be so being that she spoke of college and other concerns that millennials and generation whatever follows appear to have.
The article was a bit confusing at times, but the gist was that unapologetically being yourself and not particularly special is not a bad thing. In other words (I think) one does not have to bow to social pressure or strive to be exceptional just to be noticed – that being “average” is not so bad.
While I disagreed with a lot of her “average is good enough,” assuming I understood the new age speak, her premise, whether she knows it or not, is quite prescient, but not in the way she thinks.
She writes that, “we’re expected to play different roles. Live different lives depending on the company we’re keeping. External validation is the most immediate gratification, and we’re still at its whim almost everyday. …when we start making disingenuous choices to be ‘above-average’ – not because we feel compelled to but because they will allow us to define ourselves to others in a way that will receive a certain reaction.”
After reading the entire article more than once, I’ve concluded she is trying to convince others of her generation (20 somethings) to be who you want to be and don’t worry about stodgy society judging you or expecting you to overachieve – that average really is good enough and it’s okay to embrace the average.
Now, while I don’t agree that anyone should strive to simply be average, I agree with some other points I’m sure she didn’t mean to make.
Society today is all about “external validation,” and as she correctly points out, average isn’t good enough. Is this what we’re witnessing today and why? Just look around and see that our once “normal” country is fast transforming into a melting pot of the weird and outrageous.
Many are broadcasting their entire lives on Facebook in order to seek, I guess, “external validation,” while we “average” Joes and Joannes struggle to understand why it’s so important.
Then there is Twitter, which I have expressed often as, with the occasional exception, the platform for the stupid. It has become, again with exceptions for business and such, a vehicle of one-upmanship. Those among us who are the most odd and outrageous garner the most attention. And it is all about the attention – the constant yearning to be anything but average – anything but normal. Somewhere along the line these terms have become four letter words.
Who in their right mind would post a minimally redacted naked “selfie” (how I hate that term) for the whole world to see? But all it takes is one to then see a cascade of want-to-be relevant bubbleheads start snapping away – each attempting to push the envelope a little more than the last. All out of what I can only guess is a perceived fear of being classified as just average, or dare I say – normal. Oh, and then they complain about the objectification of women.
And of course, there is the seemingly sudden and odd explosion of the LGBT community. This “lifestyle” has somehow become the cool thing, although just being homosexual is fast becoming the new normal. But this is not a good thing. Remember, being normal or average is no longer accepted in certain circles, which is why I believe the passé homosexual movement has given way to the Transgender movement.
Ms. Wiest was correct as she explained that ever-odder behavior and/or appearance “will allow us to define ourselves to others in a way that will receive a certain reaction.” This, I guarantee, is at least part of why transgenderism is becoming all the rage.
I shudder to think of what is on the horizon if guys dressing up like girls becomes just average.