Why Hype Is Overrated and Unpopular Opinions Are Not That Unpopular

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Hype. Such a buzzword. But for many years being in the social media network, I have experienced the “hype”, the “trend, and what I noticed that hype can be a good and bad thing. It’s a phenomenon where a group of individuals keep talking about that one same concept and the most popular ones with the most followers make it trendy. It can be good when the hype in question aligns with your taste but it’s bad when it doesn’t. 

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I came to a realization that: if I listened to the hype, it’s my own damn fault. Yup, the truth hurts. Here’s an example; a few of my blogosphere friends hyping about one restaurant being the best ever and highly recommend it, then I would go to the place and have a complete shitty experience.

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At first, my reaction would be to blame the hype but then I realized I was the one putting up all those expectations, I let peoples’ expectations build up mine. I was disappointed with the anticipation I created for myself. 

One own’s experience should not dictate other peoples’ experiences.

You have no idea what factors play into your dinner experience ; maybe the chef was sick that day and the sous-chef replaces him, the waitress may be in a bad mood when you were there but the service was amazing when your friends went.

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Same thing for a book, you should read books because you wanted to. If you read it for the hype and you follow the trends but actually ending liking the book, that’s great, it aligns with your taste. But if you didn’t like it, it doesn’t mean everybody else is at fault. It’s your own  taste and for sure, you are not going to like every single book. However, it doesn’t mean the people who like it only like it for the hype or are  “lying to please the crowd”. 

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Who are you to say that ?  You are saying your opinion matters more than everybody else? That you are the only one, being honest, not lying about it? What about the people who genuinely like it, and spend time to write a review of how enjoyable it is? 

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And that’s where I want to discuss the next part :  the  unpopular opinion may not even be unpopular. You see, when you follow a trend, you follow a specific niche of targets, a specific types of blogs and of course you are going to see the same types of books trending or the same type of restaurants trending. It’s the same thing with political views. The phenomenon is called the Echo Effect .

Social scientists Walter Quattrociocchi, Antonio Scala and Cass Sunstein found quantitative evidence of how users tend to promote their favorite narratives, form polarized groups and resist information that doesn’t conform to their beliefs. – Read the research here

Once you go outside of your own  bubble, you will see that a lot of people in the world share your opinions.

The perfect illustration is my Unpopular Opinion’s post I wrote a few years ago, the comments section is filled with comments  saying  that they felt the same way as me.  What I thought was unpopular, was simply inside my own bubble, the micro-community I’m interacting with.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to share honest reviews, even negative ones if it needs to. I believe it’s good to see different perspectives and challenge ideas.  What I find offensive, is when you believe you are the only one being honest and everybody else is lying when clearly everybody is just trying to voice their own opinions.

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What do you think? Does hype taking over your routine? How do you react to it? It’s a  discussion post I welcome the comments but please keep in mind, I want to keep this a respectful environment 🙂 

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24 comments

  • I completely agree. My point though is that people may have an unpopular, negative opinion about something (as I do or you do), but they will not share it as much (maybe understandably) as their positive opinion. That creates a bubble of positivity around certain book and one may think that he or she is the only one there not liking that book. I think if people shared more their negative opinions – there is nothing wrong with them – it is simply being honest – then there will be a greater balance.
    For example, I negatively reviewed The Miniaturist, and thought I was more or less the only one on wordpress not liking the book because I have not read or found any negative opinions – but in comments many people told me that they also did not like the book. The hype around the Miniaturist may have been – slightly – exaggerated.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ahoy there Trang! I write “unpopular opinions” about hyped books all the time. In fact I just went through a spate of them. I don’t usually get aboard the hype-train. I tend to base me excitement on the blurb itself or previous books I have read about the author. I share me honest negative opinions about books because books cost a lot of loot and maybe someone will not spend money on a book based on me review. Or maybe they will get it from the library. Or maybe they will ignore me altogether. All fine. But most of all I write things for me because me noggin is a sieve and things fall out. I have had publishers accuse me of trying to delibrately hurt the author and authors tell me that I didn’t understand the book or was wrong. I of course didn’t agree. Basically everyone is entitled to their opinions. I love reading reviews that disagree with me. I am sad that some of me favourite bloggers don’t write negative reviews. But their blog, their choice. I wish I could love all books but that be unrealistic. I could write a very long list of books that the world loves and I don’t. But I won’t. Also @ Diana, I had MAJOR issues with the Miniaturist and didn’t like it. In fact I just wrote a second reflections post about it. Link below if ye like. No pressure. Can’t wait to read everyone’s thoughts on this subject. Arrrr!
    x The Captain

    https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/second-reflections-the-miniaturist-jessie-burton-with-more-thoughts-from-an-airplane/

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  • I agree with you about Hype. It’s easy to get caught up in it when everyone is so excited about a new book or whatever, but it’s important to keep in mind that your opinion is your own and not necessarily subject to your friend’s opinion. (I second the restaurant thing. While traveling a coue of years ago, I got a recommendation from a friend who had been in the same city before. She recommended a vegan place she had loved, so I tried it and it was so-so. But I imagine that I was there on an off day, and she was there on a great day). It’s important to keep your expectations at a reasonable level, otherwise you’ll be disappointed more often than not.

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  • I totally agree about unpopular opinions often not being unpopular! They might be the less popular opinion, but there’s almost always a ton of people who still agree with it

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  • “Who are you to say that ? You are saying your opinion matters more than everybody else?”

    Wow, you described me and my style to a “tee”! I salute you for understanding my greatness 😉

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  • I tend to never let me be influenced by hype too much. Of course it’s nice to get excited about something that a lot of people seem to enjoy, but in the end it’s all going to come down on what you think of it yourself. It’s what sometimes can be referred to as “The Emperor’s new clothes right?” If enough people praise it, you almost feel scared to have another opinion. Or what also tends to happen is that when someone has another opinion, other people tend to critisize that person for being different. You see it happening a lot on Youtube for instance. Respect is one thing that’s most important when it comes to this. Just let everyone decide for themselves what they think of something. Hype isn’t a bad thing …but don’t let it get too much, because well you know too much of a good thing is…well too much 😊 Terrific post!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yup. That’s why I encourage free speech and I welcome ALL opinions on my blog. That way I can get to know what OTHER people think of certain topics.
    As far as books, restaurants, etc. go, I’ve learned a WHIIILE back not to pay attention to the reviews, because I often find that my opinion is different.

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  • Well Trang is like Yin and Yang! What’s unpopular in certain circles is popular in others. All is a question of perspective. But I agree with you it’s hard going against the current when all your friends love a book and …not you!

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  • I’m actually quite the opposite, if I see that something (book, movie, series) is trending, I usually avoid it 😂 a lot later, if I keep hearing about it, I will enventually give it a try 😂
    I totally afree, it’s only a matter of personal experience 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  • This was a great post! I mostly like hype. It will make me reach for books I wouldn’t have read otherwise – like Six of Crows. I do not regularly read fantasy. The hype surrounding it got me to read it, and I loved it. There have been instances when I haven’t liked a hyped book, but that’s on my preferences and nothing to do with the actual hype. As for unpopular opinions…They’re unpopular until their popular. Does that make sense? No one person is going to be the only person to love or hate a book. Posting or vocalizing an unpopular opinion is probably going to attract other people who feel the same way.

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  • Such a good post! I do really agree that just cos we don’t agree with something, doesn’t mean people are lying about liking it or just trying to please the crowd. And I do think that a lot of opinions are only unpopular with some groups, but if you voiced it elsewhere people wouldn’t think anything of it

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  • Definitely, hype can be damaging to a product in general. I usually take the cynical view that if something’s getting a lot of hype then reviewers are probably being paid off so that way I can still try to go in with an open mind. At the end of the day I like to judge everything myself and even if that pits me against the crowd I just can’t fall in line if I really don’t like something. The buzzwords are always around so navigating around them is crucial

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  • I wholeheartedly agree with this, in my case it’s the opposite, when someone shows that they work really hard and struggle more than average just to be acknowledged and successful, they are ignored. But the one’s who have a steadier path to worldly success are the ones that get adored.

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  • August Wrap Up 2019 |

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