June 28, 2020•244 words
The life cycle of a cliche is strange.
Cliches start out as ideas that resonate deeply. Growing wildly popular is an essential step in the formation of a cliche, as popularity is the oven responsible for baking cliches to completion. If the oven doesn't get hot enough, the cliche is never formed.
The next stage is when early adopters start getting mildly annoyed. Live, laugh, love felt like a motto worth living by when it was my MSN Messenger status, but now that it's in Tumblr's source code, the feeling of personal connection and resonation decays each time its reposted.
Cliches reach their final form once they leak into the mainstream. The quote that once stopped you in your tracks is now the bestselling poster at Walmart. It's your Mom's phone wallpaper. Your Grandma just shared a shitty remake with Comic Sans font on Facebook.
Just like that, something we once treasured as an important discovery we were proud to share to the world has broken down into an eye roll worthy cliche. The same exact words that sparked inspiration now barely register as we scroll by.
This entire process of devaluation happens irrespective to how true we find the cliche to be. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and this, too, shall pass remain pretty damn accurate, but, because we discount the familiar in favor of the novel, these expressions no longer hold the same power over us they once did.