…who’s annoyed with the recently developed recipe for becoming famous: ‘just be yourself’?

This seems to have become a surefire formula for gaining popularity on various YouTube channels. The problem with ‘just being yourself’ is that people really are not that interesting. That’s why artists for centuries have struggled to find and hone their message, to dig inside themselves searching for their own humanity, so that they could shed a light on it and expose it to the rest of us, making us connect by being human above all else.

It seems it’s no longer necessary to make that effort. The fragmented reality of social media has allowed us to cut out the people we don’t agree with, so we have increasingly become accustomed to connecting to someone if they are like us. We have always looked to art to mirror ourselves, but with an abundance of communication outlets, we now resonate only with exact replicas of ourselves – people who agree with us, have the same sense of humor, and share our interests.

That’s why everybody can have a podcast or a broadcast where they sit down and talk about uh, I dunno, just things, you know? No effort required, just open your mouth and brainfart yourself silly. And someone will pick up on it, because ‘I’m the same! I am also passionately interested in absolutely nothing!’.

I imagine I should be welcoming how people who don’t want to make an effort have found a way to mutually bore each other, but I think that we as a society lose a very fundamental thing by no longer making an effort to connect with each other. That’s why Christmas is more important than ever – not because of the gifts, but because it brings us together with our families. What I cherish the most about spending time with my extended family is that it forces me to be with people I did not choose. People different from me. People who are passionate about ornithology, deep-sea fishing or people who, like my cousin, study insects for a living (I know! Weird family).

But that’s the great part. We connect in spite of who we are, and not by agreeing with someone similar who is ‘just being themselves’.

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine.

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