As a sci/tech professional in training, I can say the popularity of xkcd gets in my face all the time, and that isn’t something I can just “not look at” when it’s all over my news, my facebook feed, my professors’ doors, my future cubeneighbors’ walls... it’s as ignorable as the Eiffel Tower is in Paris (and if you will recall, there was a vocal faction of people not very fond of it). Unlike the Tour, however, the typical strip is a Twitter-grade observation if you ask me. And if I wanted to see those, I’d have a Twitter account (on an aside: I don’t know who BRPXQZME on Twitter is, but he’s not me and that’s another reason I doubt I’ll be making up an account anytime soon. ohboy!).
So I’d rather it stay where I can block it. But I can’t, because people refuse not to repost it all over my everywhere, it seems. They simply assume that I’d like it. But I don’t. I don’t like it when people assume I share a particular religious or political opinion, either, and would find nothing objectionable with having to look at propaganda for said opinion over and over. There simply comes a point at which my tolerance is exceeded, and a number of xkcd fans whom I personally know have long abused my magnanimity.
The popularity of a thing I don’t like wouldn’t irk me if its popularity didn’t mean I’m practically forced to swim through a sea of it. That is a very practical difference. I can no more stay away from xkcd than I can get away from the din of the nearby air traffic. It’s doable, but the requisite cost is too great. Meanwhile, I have little trouble escaping, say, the discography of Glenn Gould, to give an example of something that is popular among certain peers but I can’t stand.
Incidentally, it was only in doing research for this post that I found that I could have just linked to an article titled “No One Is Forcing You To Read It” on the blog “xkcd sucks”, if I wanted to sound like a nastier person than I try to be. So while I have merely rehashed that argument, it is a rehash worth making. I am not trying to be nasty, or force people to change their avatars and stuff to make me like them better, no! Especially not in a no-judgment zone like this! Of course there is no need to thank me for not flipping tables everywhere I go! But it would still be doing me a favor if others could minimize their expression of it in my presence. It is at this point, my friends, that I will refrain from telling you about Homestuck.