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Why Being "Basic" is Okay

Updated on November 17, 2014

Back to Basic

Urban Dictionary defines basic as "someone devoid of defining characteristics that make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to". Should we, as individuals, embrace the label or be offended? This is the question that we must ask ourselves.

Rejection of the "Basic" Ideology

Many, let's call them the pessimists of this "basic" ideology, would automatically dismiss this ideology as simply ridiculous, maybe even the rantings of a lunatic. It insinuates that if a person likes or has popular interests, that person is boring or conformist. They would argue Interests become popular because many people find them fascinating and the majority of the time, there is undoubtedly reasoning behind that popularity. These same people state there is a lot more to a person's character and personality than their interests alone. Everyone has unique attributes and interests alone are only on the surface of the individual within. Is the essence of an individual limited to their likes and interests? Another point to be made is that individuals often have some popular interests, but also have other non-mainstream interests.

Philosophical thinking seeks a connection between mind and body. Rene Descartes quote, "I think, therefore I am" is all about the awareness of one's own thought process. Often, the human race is such a complicated species that we are not even aware of our own inner selves. Psychologists treat patients every day in effort to help them realize their subconscious needs and desires.

In summation, according to pessimists of the "basic" ideology, the terminology was likely created by someone who needed to feel more self-important in regards to liking different, non-mainstream ideas and activities.

Pop Culture Faces


"Basic" Ideology and "Pop" Culture

At some point, the idea of being "basic" was popularized. Some individuals internalize the ideology and strive to be unique in their likes and activities. Does it make them feel more important or special? Who knows. They not not even know themselves, especially if they have yet to reach Descartes' heightened level of philosophical awareness. Trying new things can definitely be exhilarating and others are more likely to remember a girl named "Apple". The problem is, "Apple" should be remembered for the amazing individual she is, not for her name or because she enjoys juggling, as opposed to softball and dance. Juggling, softball and dance are what we do, not who we are.

It is a strong possibility that the individuals responsible for the term "basic" don't understand the implications of "pop" culture. We tend to like many of the same things as others around us do to our being culturalized to do so. We may all come from various backgrounds, but in general, don't we all want the same things? Are those things not happiness, in whatever form that may come for us individually, and security, both financial and personal? We are all more alike than we care to admit, but we are also different. Who we are is comprised of a unique group of attributes mixed with our own life experiences and stories. No one can re-create an experience or memory.

Perception is a cognitive process unique to the individual by which sensory information is processed. Physical and chemical stimulation send signals to the nervous system and individual perception is then shaped by learning, expectation, memory and attention. These factors are unique for every individual, therefore perception is unique to the individual receiving the sensory information. A speaker can make a statement to a group of 25 individuals and every one of them could interpret it differently.

Throughout the world, those same needs and desires remain true for most people, however the culturalization varies to result in different preferences among other cultures. For example, Maria is a moderately popular name in the United States, but in Mexico, it is very prominent. Does that make all Marias' parents "basic" because they dared to like a name other people liked? Based on this premise, it is fair to say that the mothers of the Marias of the United States are not quite so "basic".

The bottom line is that the essence of a person is not limited to a group of likes and dislikes or hobbies. It is safe to say that sometimes people and things trend because they are actually fun, interesting, attractive, talented, and so forth. We are all entitled to like and engage in whatever we choose and should not have to answer to anyone or be judged or criticized for it. Let's just leave it at that.

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