Is “Competitive Interestingness” The New Social Disease?

Interesting_intro_bwIllustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
When did being normal become so boring? To be, or not to be “interesting” — that is the question journalist Polly Vernon asks in her latest column for The Telegraph. And, apparently she’s not the only one. After spending years in pursuit of being perceived as interesting with a capital I, the pace may finally be slowing down in our favor. Books and apps dedicated to the slow life are everywhere. And, like others before her, Vernon is beginning to find that “this mindless, endless effort to be interesting [is] exhausting.”
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If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, the chances are you're exhausted, too. The Being-Really-Really-Interesting-All-The-Time syndrome has pushed out the debating, flirting, bitching, gossiping, and general chit-chat of old. Today, we just attempt to one-up each other with outlandish penchants and pastimes. Our ironic guilty pleasures and humble brags are all part of our Interesting vocabulary. And, we’re not just at it online. Vernon points out, “We do it at parties. We do it at work, and at brunch — we do it when falling into casual conversation with people we barely know.” Is anywhere sacred? It would seem not. Vernon’s Google search on “how to live a life more ordinary” brought up few results, which brings her (and us) to the conclusion that, if everyone else is doing it, “isn’t it the very opposite of interesting…?” (The Telegraph)
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