Why Hype Aversion is a Issue

This post was inspired by this photo, from the writer of the blog Fiktshun:

See these recommendations? It's Amazon shoving both the hottest Adult and Young Adult series into this reader's face. When something like this happens, and the reader in question only buys YA, there's a problem going on.

But this brought my attention onto a related topic I thought about in the past: hype aversion.

What is Hype Aversion?

According to the Laconic page on TV Tropes, Hype Aversion is when "the more people tell you you should check it out, the less you want to."

Or basically: "Stop recommending this show/book/movie/music/video game for the umpteenth time!"

A common occurrence is when people avoid a work simply because it's popular and everyone's talking about it. On the surface, it shouldn't make sense. Why does it matter that thousands or millions love it? Does that change the work's quality at all?

In most cases, no (see "Pandering"). However, after hearing "Moves Like Jagger" for the third time in a day, I thought up two theories:


People hate being bothered with the same thing again and again. It's that simple. Wouldn't you be annoyed if someone kept waving a sign right in your face?

Sometimes with certain stories, that might as well be the case. One person said that the average number of times it takes for someone to see a book before picking it up is seven. 

What if a person sees it seventy times? Or seven hundred?

After a while, once you get force with the obligation to check something out, you don't want to go through it. You're tired by this pestering, and you just want to get back to reading someone more obscure.


Mainstream is controversial. On one hand, you have people that only consume media from the mainstream. On the other hand, you have people who look down on the mainstream, and refuse to associate with it too much.

This kind of hype aversion comes from the concept of lowest common denominator--the negative definition. The belief of a story "dumbed down" to "appeal" to a larger audience.

Whatever it's true or not, it's a fear that especially applies to music. You have people hating pop because "it all sounds the same". But it also applies to television shows like "Jersey Shore" which one study says can lower your intelligence.

And even books. Young Adult dystopian romances have their detractors, and for good reasons.

Basically, if a lot of people love something, some people avoid it for the fear that it had been dumbed down in order to gain that large fanbase. It's one reason why the sentence "write for one person" exists.


Those are only two reasons why hype aversion happens, but it's a real phenomena that many of us fall into.

Now if you excuse me, I'll consider touching the book City of Bones, despite fears that it's just another fantasy.

YOUR TURN: Have you ever avoided something just because lots of other people like it? Why?