I’m not a huge fan of shaming people for what they like.
People like what they like. They’re into what they’re into.
It may not be what somebody else thinks we “should” be into…but different people have different likes, dislikes, passions, interests, and temperaments.
Some people like to shame others for having hobbies and interests they don’t consider “intellectual” enough.
Some people like to shame others for preferring visual entertainment like TV or movies instead of reading books.
Some people shame other people for getting their information from documentary movies instead of, say, scholarly articles or lengthy books.
Everywhere you turn, people are giving other people a hard time for what they find entertaining or informative.
Maybe you’ve had the experience of someone giving you a hard time for your hobbies, interests, or sources of entertainment or information.
Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to hide the things you’re into or what you like from the people around you, specifically so you wouldn’t get made fun of.
Isn’t that a bummer when we feel we have to do that?
Not only is it a bummer, in fact, it chips away at our self-esteem.
When the people around us give us a hard time for who we are and what we like, especially over a long period of time, doubt and shame start to creep into our minds.
We start to wonder— could they possibly be right?
Do I like dumb, or lowest common denominator entertainment?
Is there something wrong with me because I watch TV instead of reading books?
Those seeds of doubt and shame start out small…but as we keep hiding who we are and what we like from the world, those seeds begin to take root. And they grow.
Let’s be clear: there is nothing wrong with you for liking popular entertainment.
You’re not “dumb” for preferring to watch TV or see a movie instead of reading a book (in fact, this has nothing to do with intelligence per se— it has everything to do with our attention span and learning style. Some of us are visual learners rather than verbal learners. That’s really all it comes down to).
And if you’re getting your information from documentaries, I say good for you for even going out of your way to learn something, and for finding something that can teach you something. I say ANY attempt to learn ANYTHING is excellent— and I dislike when people try to shame others because it’s not THEIR preferred way of learning.
We seriously need to lay off the judgment.
People are just out there trying to live their lives.
They like what they like. What brings them joy and gets them to think is what it is.
I’ve known PLENTY of people I don’t consider terribly bright who absolutely LOVED to read.
I’ve known PLENTY of incredibly smart people who really love movies (some pretty “dumb” movies, in fact).
Not everything has to be some sort of demonstration of intellect or depth.
When you find yourself bothered by the shade thrown at you by people who seem to be very concerned with whether you’re “challenging” yourself enough with your entertainment or information choices, consciously redirect your thoughts.
Remind yourself that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to entertainment, information, or edification.
Cut yourself some slack— and let yourself enjoy what you enjoy.
If others can’t see why you derive joy from it, let that be their problem.
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