When I was little, I would go to school and every other day, someone would ask a group of kids, “So who watched ______________ last night?” followed by the raising of several hands, to include mine, whether I watched it or not. Of course, at that age, I didn’t want to be viewed as the “loser” who didn’t watch whatever show it was, so I pretended to fit in. I was a kid. That made sense. Peer pressure and all.
However, I just turned 38 last month, and I am seeing adults actually put people down for not having watched popular television shows or even movies. I don’t mean 20 and 25-year-olds. I’m talking my age and older.
Using childish insults.
Over a television show.
Just because someone hasn’t watched.
Are you kidding me?!
Just about every week, I see someone on social media with an apologetic tone in a post about not having watched a popular television show or a movie. Many times, they would ask, “So am I the only person who hasn’t seen __________________?”
For those of you who are like that, a little friendly reminder:
You do NOT have to apologize or feel in any way ashamed for not having watched something just because it is popular.
To the question of “Are you the only person who hasn’t seen _____________?”
NO. NO. NO. Always NO. The answer will NEVER BE YES.
The most-watched movie in history was not seen by “everyone.” Neither was the most-watched television show. The most-listened to song wasn’t heard by “everyone.” The most-eaten food hasn’t been tried out by everyone…
…and so on, and so on.
I just read a post on Facebook in which one person mentioned not having seen the HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” and the comment thread was flooded with insults. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. This person’s personal life was “attacked” and he was called just about everything in the book that of course, had absolutely nothing to do with the conversation at hand. Seriously, so a person hasn’t watched something. So what? Is all that is necessary?
For people to even been “shocked” that someone hasn’t seen something is laughable to me. As kids, that would be understandable. A child’s mind hasn’t developed as much. But as an adult, good Lord…it “blows your mind” that someone hasn’t watched a show just because it’s popular? Just the fact that some people cannot so much as fathom that people hasn’t watched a television show says a lot about them.
But NEVER apologize or feel that you are “wrong” or “out of touch” because you haven’t seen something. Take a number. Join the club. It is a television show. It is entertainment. It is fiction. It’s okay to like or even love watching. But once a person crosses that line of actually viewing people as “less than” because they haven’t seen it…wrong answer. Especially with someone like me.
The main reason you shouldn’t feel apologetic is simple. You’re a freaking adult. You have a little something called Freedom of Choice. You don’t have to justify why you haven’t watched this show or that show. You don’t have to put on your “armor,” peek around a corner and ask if you’re the only one who hasn’t watched as though you would be wrong. You’re not wrong under ANY circumstances. I don’t even watch my favorite shows often when they’re on because we have two children and I’m spending time with them, or, as a writer, I sacrifice leisure activities because I need to make sure I’m doing that to follow my dreams of becoming a professional screenwriter and author. So there are all kinds of reasons a person hasn’t seen something, and I’m not about to drop everything to watch just because some self-righteous and “tough on social media” folks decide that I can’t “sit at the cool table” over not having a watched a damn television show. Please.
Again, I’m not here to put down those who like certain television shows because they are popular. I’ve liked many popular shows before. But I don’t spazz out when someone tells me that they haven’t seen it, nor do I view them as less than people because they have not. It’s really no big deal. Everyone’s lives don’t revolve around television. If a person appears curious, I will explain what the show is about and let them decide on their own.
I won’t beat them to death with “You MUST watch it!” and all that. That’s another thing. Nobody “must” watch anything. I definitely tune out whenever I see or hear that. I’m more than okay with one sharing feelings about a particular show. But it can stop there. I’ll be the one who determines whether or not I “must” watch. No one else.
And the same with you. No one I know has ever died as a result of not doing something popular. The world hasn’t stopped because “everyone” hasn’t watched a particular television show in the past, and while I’m no expert, I’m guessing that the world won’t stop turning now because of it.