What does it mean to just be ‘you’? Like, think about it. Everything we think we like or know has been influenced in some way or another by our surroundings, from your family to your friends to your weird cousin you only talk to through Facebook. Okay, maybe not the weird cousin. But think about it. What do you like or do that’s your own individual interest?

I don’t know, it’s just a thought. But it’s a fun exercise to try — look inside, at all your interests and hobbies, and you might be surprised just how much your interests and thoughts and therefore your actions are influenced by others.

That’s what my worry is, though: if someone finds most of their actions are influenced by others, then doesn’t it mean they’re just not being themselves? Their true selves. If most of what you do or what you like is because of your community or those around you, then where is the real you? Aren’t you just another clone? Another ‘one of’? And I know this is safe — to be a ‘one of’ — but, to me anyway, it’s a waste of a greater genius locked in true individuality.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s bad to have similar or even the exact same interests as others. No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that’s normal, but the worry (for me at least) is when nothing else is of someone’s own discovery. Their own personal…thing. See, I’m a firm believer of the idea that every person out there can’t be the exact same. There’s gotta be something different. That’s why I get worried when people are afraid to stand out.

We need to rethink how we look at uniqueness. Uniqueness, for a while, was being hipster. Then hipster became mainstream (lol) and we all split into social media archetypes. And it’s a hopeless cycle that causes me to want to roll my eyes into my skull.

But at its centre is that same thing — wanting to belong and being too afraid of being ‘different’. But what’s there to actually be afraid of? We look at the stars and influencers of today, from Kanye West to Tyler, the Creator to Kendrick to even self-proclaimed ‘King of the Youth’ Ian Connor — all ‘weirdos’ . Yes. All ‘different’. And they literally don’t give a crap. They just went ahead and spent enough time with their selves to find out what they love. Their own…thing. And stuck with it. And now we trip off of their social media updates.

That’s what we’re afraid of.

I don’t know, just think about it. How much you is actually you? How much you is another person — someone bold enough to do their thing and not care who else likes it, or judges them or whatever? Why aren’t you doing the same?

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