Do you know that feeling when everybody is raving about something and you fail to understand why? Well it happens to me, a lot! In a society where every single experience is (over)shared on social media platforms, it’s difficult not to get influenced by everybody’s opinions on certain people, products, events, etc. Not to mention the huge marketing campaigns that create the hype and exaggerate our expectations about “phenomenons”, which most often turn out to be extremely overrated.
So, on the top of my head, here a short list of hyped phenomenons that failed to impress me:
– Starbucks lattes: more than a simple hot beverage, a Starbucks latte is a fashion statement on its own! It screams sophistication and creativity. Caramel, cinnamon, peppermint, even tiramisu! The flavours combinations for your latte are mind-blowing. They even invented the skinny latte to make you feel less guilty about drinking overpriced, sugar-loaded beverages. Indeed, there are 190 calories in 1 serving of Starbucks Latte. I’m no nutrition expert, but that sounds like a lot!
Having my name misspelled by an exhausted, underpaid barista and walking the street with the magic plastic cup in my hand never appealed to me. I like my coffee black, strong and preferably served in a terrace of a small back street café.
– Cupcakes: everybody loves cupcakes! They are tiny, cute, and a real feast for the eye. Recently, they became the stars of parties and celebrations, even stealing the show from the mighty pièce montée. Personally, I’ll trade their glamourous look for the inner beauty of a tiramisu, without a blink. Because let’s face it, cupcakes are merely sponges with frosting! Flour, Sugar, and butter, that it. Not much to brag about really! Ok, I might make an exception for a chocolate cupcake; but as far as I’m concerned, they remain rather expensive pieces of decoration.
– Paulo Coelho: Ok, he is an award winning novelist, but he is also a phenomenon. His novels are bestsellers, translated into languages that I have never heard of! His masterpiece The Alchemist is one of my all time favourite books and I took the habit of rereading it every couple of years, for the sheer pleasure of it. I also bought most of his books and read them religiously. With hindsight, I might have saved myself a few bucks and stopped at one read or two, because when you have read one book of Coelho, you have read them all!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spiritual journeys and quests for the meaning of life. I love books that give me food for thought and make me grow; but when it becomes full of common places and stereotypical characters, I tend to get bored.
Feeding the popular frenzie for quoting him each time we want to look smart and deep, Coelho is loading his books with ready made quotations and rather simplistic life coaching advice. It might be the hopeless sarcastic in me talking, but Coelho is probably capitalising on his old glory, and our hunger for “words of wisdom” to keep the cash register ringing!
The list is long, but I’d better stop here, because chances are, not everybody will agree with me. However, you might concede that we all have a list of overrated things or people that make us roll our eyes and sigh. So let’s share and see if we can find some common ones to rant about.