16 Oct The Generation of Quotes
We live in a generation of quotes. Quotes for tattoos, quotes on t-shirts and even on the damn bumper of your car. Whether it’s something inspiring, motivational or just douchey, quotes are everywhere.
It seems most of the recycled sayings happen to be from songs and it really annoys me when a 13-year-old is wearing a cropped tank that says “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn”. Zero chance you even know who the Beastie Boys are. Now, we’re all culprits of this ongoing epidemic. Heck, we’ve been throwing around quotes since MSN Messenger days. Remember signing in and out a hundred times trying to get your crushes attention?
The only thing that’s different today is that we paste a Drake verse on a sexy Instagram mirror “célfie”. Don’t get me wrong I’m the reigning queen of doing this (not exactly the mirror or sexy part) and with 1,339 posts to-date…I’m almost certain that fifty percent of my Instagram is composed of caption quotes. I will now proceed to rationalize why.
First of all, how many times can you use the deuces emoji when posting a picture? Lord knows I’ve utilized this one a lot. More importantly since no one is communicating through a messenger system any longer we have to find ways to communicate how we feel by vicariously living through famous quotes and song lyrics. They are words that we believe are directed towards us, our problems and our lives. So therefore we take ridiculous things like “0-100, real quick” and “I woke up like this” to the literal level and the next thing you know girls are sleeping with makeup on and popping $800 bottles of champagne at the club on a Saturday night. We’ve literally become a generation that “brands” their own lives through cheesy sayings and song lyrics. I for one would fall into the category of Emotionally selfless rapper. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Well, for the most part, the web has taken over our lives. We are constantly bombarded with status updates and images taken off Pinterest and Tumblr. Almost everywhere we go we are plugged into some network or literally have ear buds jammed into our ears. We are drowning out of our own thoughts by connecting to what we see and what we hear. Beyonce’s problems become our problems. Hemingway’s words become our words. We are so consumed about what we see and hear that we forget to take into account our own thoughts and words. One of the reasons I feel many people find it difficult to explain themselves or truly say how they feel. I had someone literally tell me to listen to a song, to understand “what life is about”. The fact that someone had to resort to subliminally tell me what they think of me by telling me to listen to a song, is seriously some fucked up shit. First of all, I’m not going to go put in work so that you could validate a point. Anyhow… I’m not here to prove that these motivational or quirky phrases we pride ourselves on are bad for us. Sometimes they can create movements that get people to feel positive or change themselves. But I don’t believe a bunch of inspirational sayings are going to solve all of your problems. Trust me, I’ve been writing down these things for years.
What it really comes down to, especially in regards to social media is I think most of us use quotes to get a message across. Subliminally to someone in particular or to everyone so that you don’t seem like an egomaniac. For example, you would never directly use their name (unless you’s a crazy bitch): “Hey Matthew: You use to be thirsty for me, but now you wanna be set free.. this is the web that you weave so now baby RIP”. This would never happen. Instead you paste that quote sans the “Hey Matthew” and proceed to hashtag the following: #blackwidow, #girlpower #iggytheshit #asslikeiggy #nomoredrama #fucklove #youwishyouhadthis. The whole idea of doing this is like signing in and out of MSN, hoping that “they” will see your post. I think it all has something to do with making a connection. People will feel more inclined to connect with you through a song lyric or a famous line/quote because they may be familiar with it. Think about it, why would we post something that people wont click like on if the whole point of a platform is to tap your fingers twice to get a heart?
It’s one of those psychological things people in our generation just do. It’s needing the publics validation on how we feel. So that they can either watch and observe or compare and like. It’s mental therapy. It’s like why do so many people have “Live. Laugh. Love” tattooed on them? Is that what everyone REALLY wants to do? Or do we just want to look like people who have their shit together because realistically I want to “Live. Eat. Get Rich. Be Skinny” but that would make me a moron having that tattooed across my foot.
I think one liners really have us all fucked up. We want everyone to see what they can’t. It’s one of those things we do and we don’t even know one hundred percent why. There’s no justification but there’s no damaging error either (well, sometimes). It’s human nature I suppose and nevertheless we’ll continue to do it … myself included.