Pop goes the culture

Pop goes the culture

Pop goes the culture

The predominance of pop culture in today’s generation affects the way individuals think, associate with others, and how they express themselves. It didn’t take long for the internet to steam over Derek Shepherd’s death on the popular television show, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. These days, the lives of young adults revolve around pop culture icons, celebrities and characters, even as they lose track of reality.

Mohammed Zeeshan, a student at VIT, says, “Pop culture plays a huge role in creating social norms of sorts for the young adult community, and those who don’t follow it are outcaste.” The teenage years mark a phase where people come across the concept of an ‘identity’. According to Vivek Gurkar, a student of St Joseph’s College of Commerce, pop culture plays a dominant role in determining one’s identity. Whether it’s the music one listens to, the clothes they wear or shows they watch, it all plays a part in carving out a person’s personality, and indirectly contributes to shaping the person.

With shows like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Suits’ exaggerating everyday situations, young adults are left with impractical notions of reality. Aarathi Ajit, a student at Mount Carmel College, says, “It has come to the point where popular music and television shows mould my ideas of right and wrong.” While teenagers and young adults look up to pop culture personalities, does it make sense to follow this new wave of social ‘rules’? Another line of thought is that video games, television shows and movies promote violence. Muskaan Jain, a student, agrees and justifies this by saying, “Youngsters start to think violence is okay and practice it in reality. Westernised television shows influence people to do things that are socially unacceptable in our culture.” But in the end, choosing to follow what one sees on a screen is a matter of personal choice. If people imitate something or someone they see, it is because they think it adds to their personality. Zeeshan says, “It’s not a video game’s or movie’s fault. It’s the individual’s choice that decides their actions.”

As a new culture develops, so does a new way of communication. Vivek says, “A group of socially ‘popular’ people create these words that they use out in the open, and others use them to be ‘cool’ like them.” The usage of words like ‘bae’ and ‘swag’, and phrases like ‘I can’t even’, among others, have become common on social media sites.

Zeeshan voices his distress and calls this new trend “annoying”. “People who are ignorant of the English language and its nuances take liberty to abuse it, and further make it ‘fashionable’.”

In the end, youngsters say that the idea of pop culture is subjective – Vivek calls it a double-edged sword, and Aarathi says that pop culture isn’t all bad, but, “It needs to be kept at bay because a lot of people, including myself, are being influenced by pop culture to a large extent.” Zeeshan reiterates the subject of choice when it comes to conforming to the ‘rules’ of pop culture. “Every individual ought to have the right to choose how he or she wants to behave, but it is the society’s duty to train them to make the right choices during their formative years.”

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