Have you ever woken up one morning and realized you’re the hipster?

My friends talk about how they hate the self-involved hypocrisy of these types of folks. But every day I feel like more and more of us are formulating our own stubborn opinions about music, television, pop culture and the like.

For example, I have to acknowledge Justin Bieber has talent. Of course he does. I just don’t buy his music because it’s not my thing. I don’t mean anything personal by it and I don’t think I’m supposed to fall under the Belieber demographic anyway. That said, the boy can dance and carry a tune all right from what I can tell. That fact doesn’t concern his haters. The language that dudes my age use to describe this poor kid is nothing short of volatile. Making some cash and being perceived as overrated is plenty to garner some infamy in the 21st century.

Deciding to hate something is even the go-to mentality in a lot of ways. I have never listened to a single Nickelback song, but I still have the luxury of knowing they’re the worst band in the entire world. I’m perfectly aware that that poorly formulated opinion came right out of the ether. Furthermore, it’s my prerogative to perpetuate that belief via a cowardly tweet and/or wall post. Thanks, society.

In the age of the internet and social networks, it’s near-impossible to express genuine sincerity for something without a snarky retort from a cynical 15-year-old in a dark room somewhere. If I took my baby cousin to see The Lorax, I wouldn’t think about admitting to liking it. The only acceptable review is, “Fucking sucks … blah blah blah … Goddamn Hollywood … blah blah blah …” in a sardonic circle of guys smoking Camel crushes with their hoodies up to keep the sunlight and earnestness out of their eyes.

When did we all get so bitter and jaded? Did this happen overnight or has it always been like this? With reality shows snatching the highest ratings on television and dance pop effortlessly topping the charts, everyone is ready to believe that their taste alone is impeccable. It’s a frightening and polarizing way to think and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

When Conan O’Brien left The Tonight Show after the time slot controversy, he asked something of the young people in his final farewell: “Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism; for the record, it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.” This is a sentiment I’ve since tried to live by. Bear in mind, it was said by someone who was muscled out of a late night institution most comedians only dream of. If Conan can still keep the faith after that experience, I’m not gonna let flashy pop stars or silly kids’ movies get me down.

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Dash Nye is a third-year film and media studies major.