Bill Dybas

The Hipster's Dilemma

This idea of mine has come up in conversation a few times with friends recently, so I’ll mention it here, too.

When a hipster comes across great new music from an undiscovered artist, the hipster is faced with two choices:

  1. Tell friends about this artist in order to have a shared experience, though knowing that by sharing it, others will likely share it, too, and the music will progressively become more mainstream, thus losing the original authenticity to which the hipster gravitated and desired.

  2. Don’t tell anyone about the band for the risk they become mainstream, but also risk that by not sharing their music, no one else will know about them, and the band will eventually give up and cease to exist, thereby causing the hipster to no longer have their great, authentic music to listen to.

I’ve dubbed this “The Hipster’s Dilemma.”

It’s an interesting thought experiment, but it does bring up some questions, like:

Some interesting things to think about, for sure. And I’m sure music could be replaced for other things which people take pleasure in discovering. When I get the chance one day, I think it’d be fun to write a book on these types of ideas - hipster theory.