General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What do you make of our collective passion for comparing notes?

Asked by Jeruba (50459points) April 18th, 2009

Consider the most popular question formulas we see here:

—If you could <...> just one, <...>, what/which would it be?

—What is your favorite <...>?

—What is the most/best/least/<other superlative> <...> you have ever <...>?

—Have you ever <...>?

What do you think about this apparent compulsion to compare our experiences with those of others and to look for trends, norms, and prevailing opinions among the views of fellow flutherfolk? What’s the use? What do we learn? Is it just conversational? What is the point?

Yes, indeed, this too is such a question.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Give me emoting chickens any day over the Vampire vs. Zombie pap.

unused_bagels's avatar

I think it rocks.

aviona's avatar

We like to find similarities in others—to relate.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

i don’t know but i love your responses, in general
i just wanted to say

strangeling's avatar

We are so needy. That is all. We are what we are. Enjoy!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I think sharing stories and experiences is interesting.
More interesting is being new to the site and observing the high quality questions members have to offer up to the collective.

augustlan's avatar

Every little thing we learn about those beyond our front doors is a further illumination of humanity as a whole. It opens a little crack in our defenses and our preconceived notions, allowing us to realize anew that people are more alike than not. I think that can only be a good thing. Even if it is kind of repetitive. :)

essieness's avatar

I agree with @aviona, we want to relate to people and learn about the differences between us. It’s interesting to learn about other people in a sort of anonymous way.

Jeruba's avatar

Are we peeping in one another’s windows? reading one another’s mail? peering over one another’s shoulders on the airplane to see what they’re reading? Why is what’s seen through my neighbor’s living room window more interesting than what’s happening inside mine?

Or are we measuring ourselves against some self-selected population of others to see if we’re in the middle or on the fringes? and why does it matter?

Is it all about validation?

cookieman's avatar

There’s a reason “bandwagoning” works so well in advertising. We all want to feel as though we belong.

I think what @augustlan said is spot on – at least for me.

strangeling's avatar

I agree with @augustian too.

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