Nowadays, it seems like you can’t read an article concerned with some sort of popular media (film, music, video game, tech, etc.) without coming across the words “hype” or “overrated.”
Click on any piece or witty meme discussing a new movie, television series or some other popular product and you’re bound to find statements along the lines of:
“Breaking Bad is soooo overrated….”
“I’m so hyped for the release of Far Cry 5!”
Whenever I decide to invest my time in a new television series or video game, I very often find myself thinking the terms “hype” and “overrated” and how the effects of something being overly “hyped” may actually go a long way in helping it eventually being considered “overrated.”
So much so, that I even felt that I needed to reshare this old piece about it. (The Breaking Bad reference was rather timely when I first wrote this blog post.)
Let’s begin by first discussing the terms “hype” and “overrated”, before delving into how the two terms may be related.
What is Hype?
Hype can generally be described as the excitement you feel before the impending release of a new product. You know, basically when you simply can’t wait for something to be released.
Whether it is the latest smartphone (because almost everyone is seemingly hoarding iPhone or Galaxy smartphones these days) or the next season of your favourite TV series, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re excited for the impending release of some new item.
When people get excited about something, they generally do want to talk about it. It’s sort of a natural process in which people want to spread joy to their fellow human beings and create an area to bond over.
The possibility of finding people expressing their excitement for a particular item is highly dependent on the popularity of said item. The more popular something is, the more likely you are to find someone to discuss the subject with.
For example, Game of Thrones has previously been described as ‘the biggest show on television’ as well as a ‘cultural phenomenon’. When a new episode airs, it is almost impossible to avoid encountering somebody or something referencing the series the next morning.
It could be somebody on the radio, a colleague at work, a news article or an internet meme (“hold the door” memes were rather popular one Monday morning I hadn’t been able to watch the latest episode.)
As long as you’re not living under a rock, you’re probably going to hear something about a so loved or enjoyed that it has been deemed”culturally significant”, even if you don’t care about it.
If Everyone’s So Excited About It, It Must Be Good, Right?
When something becomes so popular that nobody will shut up about, it is highly likely that you will become interested in why, exactly, nobody will shut up about it. I mean, if everybody is going crazy over it, it must be good, right?
Most people will probably eventually cave in to finding out what exactly makes something so special. Some will even find that sometimes they agree with the excitement generated over a particular product and that on other occasions they don’t.
Sometimes, the expectation created by the hype surrounding the product is too great to ever be fulfilled, even if the product being presented is good. It is when this disconnect between expectation and actual experience occurs that many products begin being labelled “overrated.”
When Overhyped Becomes Overrated…
I’ve always had a problem with the word “overrated.” There is something about it that comes across as rather demeaning; as if people who like a particular product others have at one time labelled overrated have lower standards.
If somebody develops a bad product that meets none of the criteria that it set out to, then such complaints are totally warranted. However, this isn’t always the case when decide to label things overrated.
Often times when people have not had their expectations met with a product, they’ll blame the product or the producers of a product and not themselves.
There are times in which people let themselves be eaten by the “hype machine” and in such cases, the fault is on the consumer rather than the producer. Just because something isn’t your cup of tea does not mean that it’s overrated.
I have done this before myself in which I got so excited for a particular film, television series or video game that I placed unfair expectations on it and thus it was doomed never ever to really be good as I wanted it to be.
I feel like this piece has been an exceptionally long way of saying that I don’t it like when people describe things as being “overrated”; something which, incidentally, will never stop happening.
If there is anything to learn from this tirade, it is that hype is bad and that not everything that is overhyped is necessarily overrated.
What do you think? Do people sometimes overhype things to the point that they are considered overrated? Please share in the comments down below.
Originally published on May 29, 2016 on The Unemployed Bucketlist. Piece has been edited.