The rise of the 'opt out' culture, and why being our 'best selves’ isn't necessarily always best

July 26, 2019


In a culture where so much hinges on being our ‘best selves’, the idea of doing and being LESS might seem like a curious concept. It’s not really surprising, given the negative connotations of what some might label ‘vanilla’, when perused against the more celebrated backdrop of style and substance. .

However, as the 'opt out' movement gathers momentum, there is a growing trend towards sometimes (just sometimes!) turning OFF the charm, losing the chat and stripping back the glad rags in a bid to 'consciously decelerate' from the keepy-uppy appearances game which, let's face it, can easily grow as tiring as it is monotonous. 

To many, ‘vanilla’ might be the antithesis of what we think we SHOULD be (funny, witty, engaging, charismatic....). However, there are more benefits to revealing this default plainness than you might think. So much so, in fact, that there is a growing air of romance around the art of doing just that. Being nothing, and doing nothing, whenever we so choose. 

Seizing these opportunities to 'just be', and indulge in the blissful invisibility it can entail, can be both restorative and essential in a world which otherwise revolves around being seen, heard and understood beyond the remit of any former generation.

Of all the key light bulb moments to come out of this trend, it has to be that we don’t have to ‘be our best selves’ ALL the time, as the social media message might imply. Instead, the freedom is ours to ‘own’ our average just as much as our ‘amazing,’ and savour the flavour of both in equal measure.

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