One of the prevelant traits of urbanisation is the upsurge of wannabe behaviour & attitudes. Wannabes are people who do and say things for the sole purpose of fitting in or seeming cool. While I have no problem with the activities or the words themselves, the obvious fakeness of their endeavors really gets my goat.
- Food – Only the most basic need of every living creature. What makes this one suspect is that the average ‘foodie’s taste doesn’t go beyond mummy’s food, perennial streetfood favorites like panipuri & unanimously popular restaurants. Everyone enjoys a good biryani, panipuri, steak or pasta. What sets you apart from the entire human race?
- Travel– I still can’t understand what makes people count this as a hobby. Travel means going to a different place. If it’s not on work, it means you’re on a vacation. Find me one person who doesn’t enjoy that. Again, what sets you apart from every schoolkid, corporate whore, ratrace junkie?
Photography – This one is misleading. On the surface of it, it looks & sounds like a real hobby and an artistic one at that. Indeed, a decade ago, it would have been considered a respectable interest to have. But in this day & age of digicams, phone cameras and point-and-shoots which you can all but have sex with….what’s that mammoth clicker for, but to show off? What gets me is when people pull out foot-long lenses to photograph a plate of food right in front of them. Weren’t those created to be able to shoot dangerous animals in their habitat, in the perfectly civil role of a wildlife enthusiast?
- Cause Crusading– Animal rights. Corruption. Energy saving. Endangered species. Clicking ‘Like’ on a Facebook Page called ‘Let’s vote for (whatever cause)’ does not further the cause. Forwarding an SMS about said cause to everyone in your address book is spam, not crusading. Wearing a tee-shirt with a cause-ey byline helps fund the marketer’s brand, not aid a cause. If you really care about the cause, give something of yourself, starting with time spent finding out exactly what you’re campaigning and what the problem is. I don’t think half the people who wore Gandhi hats & liked/forward the Anna Hazare campaign even knew what Lokpal was.
I call this ‘The Glee Club of Hobbies’. You don’t have to have a talent or skill. You don’t need to know much about anything. And you don’t even need to spend the kind of time & energy that it takes to familiarize & become good at most other hobbies. These are things that everybody does.
I’m just mystified by why they’re suddenly cool. Everywhere around me, I see & hear people talking about one of these as their passions. These get put on resumes, listed on Twitter profiles & linked to on Facebook.
I suspect it’s just the pressure to show that one has a meaningful, full life, complete with hobbies that absorb & enrich one. Gah, wannabedom, your worshippers will even fake what gets them off.