Monday, September 28, 2015

What's your favorite?

As you may know if you follow my stuff, I did a Q&A on my other YouTube channel last week to celebrate reaching 5,000 subscribers.


There were some pretty interesting questions; some of them asked me to discuss what I think about certain asexuality issues, or inquired about my politics, or asked about my writing techniques or life experiences. But a large number of them just prompted me to choose a favorite.

Favorite food? Favorite book? Favorite music? Favorite color? Favorite TV show? Favorite movie? Favorite hobby?

Like many people, I have a really hard time answering these kinds of questions--not only because I have lots of favorites in most cases, but because there's no real way to quantify and rank my levels of liking these things, and I think the people asking are looking for an insight to what your favorites mean about you just as much as they might be looking for common ground.

I don't like choosing one movie to communicate something about who I am. If I pick a drama, people immediately say "oh she likes emotional and serious movies" and conclude that I wouldn't appreciate silly humor, but that's not accurate. If I name a YA book as my favorite, I might be misinterpreted as a person who won't read literary adult fiction. If I name a favorite band from the 80s, people might think I stopped listening to new music when I was a teenager. Obviously people aren't consciously making these conclusions about me if I choose one favorite, but it does inform their interpretations of me. That's why if I ever am bizarrely asked to provide one and only one "favorite" of something in one of these categories, I often end up choosing something fairly obscure so the person asking won't be able to make that conclusion. Maybe it's supposed to be an exercise for me to really think about it and be able to answer this question, but I'm not into communicating about myself in shortcuts.

What might be my favorite not only fluctuates with time and with introduction of new choices, but with my mood or current outlook. I also think that identifying one thing as my "favorite" imbues it with importance even from me--like that if I have ever called something my favorite, I'll look at it differently even though I know how arbitrary I can be sometimes with my favoritism.

So if you ever hear me say "oh that's my favorite [x]," I'm oversimplifying a LOT and I'm expressing an opinion that's sure to be fleeting.

And I think that's also probably pretty common.


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