America, musings, random, thoughts

Occasional Suckers for Conformity

We’ll admit it: we both have a problem.

We’d much rather eat at an I-Hop than some artisanal breakfast nook. Give us Starbucks or give us death. Every meaningful piece of furniture owned by Walt was purchased at an IKEA.

Conformity has acquired a negative connotation in today’s culture (which, when you stop to think about it, is kind of ridiculous, and in order to fully address said hypocrisy we’d have to write another post), but it’s there. Maybe not everywhere in the world, maybe not even everywhere in America. But we certainly feel it in our own neck of the woods.

Conformists are de-facto suckers, fish already hooked by mega-corporations and their sleek ad campaigns. The call for individuality is not without merit, and diversity is never a bad thing. But sometimes…just sometimes, do you ever get a hankering for a quarter-pounder with cheese?

The draw of conformity has deep psychological and evolutionary roots. It’s dangerous to be an individual. Big-name companies caught on to this and made untold amounts of money. Ray Kroc understood that people wanted cheeseburgers that tasted exactly the same no matter what city they found themselves in. Conrad Hilton knew that when people traveled, they still wanted to be in a place that reminded them, however minimally, of home. John Grisham appears to be under the impression that people want to read the same book over and over again.

And hey, he’s got the sales to prove it.

Point being, we’re wired to fit in. We’re wired to be attracted to the things everyone else is attracted to. And while it’s noble to march to the beat of a different drum, we’re both a little sick of getting sneered at by people wearing beanies in June as we walk by local coffee shops with our Starbucks iced-coffees.

Because while it’s all well-and-good to enjoy things no one else particularly seems to enjoy, that doesn’t make you better than everyone else. It doesn’t make you smarter. It just means that four thousand years ago, you probably would have been mauled by a lion or, frankly, stoned to death by your tribe.

That kind of turned into a rant, didn’t it? We didn’t mean for it to. Go individuals! Do any of you have any guilty conformity pleasures? Anyone want to swap IKEA floor plans with Walt? Let us know in the comments. As always, thank you for reading,

W & W Sawday


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