Like What You Like

Like What You Like | All Things E

I recently abandoned an old friend. A standby. One that’s been there for me for, multiple years now. One that often traveled with me and made me quite happy, adjusting to my moods and appealing to my sensibilities time and time again.

I admit it. I traded it in for a shinier model. One that would let me get a bit more personal. One that would give me what I needed… faster and more reliably.

I’m talking about streaming music services right now… and how I recently made the transition from Pandora to Spotify (I know, like, welcome to 2014, Erika).

So for years, seriously YEARS, I’ve been listening to Pandora while I work, drive, exercise, etc. Thumbs-upping songs at random, “training” stations to play the types of music I love, and curating stations for pretty much all moods I could possibly have (which, if you know me at all, is  A LOT).

Recently, while getting to know a new fellow, we started talking about music.

For someone who listens to music for literally 8-14 hours per day, every day, I could name surprisingly few of the artists that I actually liked.

Yes, I could tell him the people I’ve seen in concert (mostly country… but I barely listen to country at all in my free time… so, uh, not correct?)… I could name a few of the pop songs I liked. And one or two bands that I thought were up-and-coming (looking at you, The Lone Bellow).

In my head I’m going, “What the heck? Why can’t I talk about this?”

The problem was that thumbs-upping the songs I liked on Pandora didn’t actually require me to actually look up who was singing or to learn the names of songs. Yeah. I know. I’m a terrible music fan. Shoot me. It never really bothered me until I realized that I couldn’t even own my taste in music effectively.

So I jumped on the Spotify train, referencing my “Favorites” from Pandora to get a few playlists started…

And I realized that my taste in music is totally different than what I’d probably tell someone if we were meeting over coffee or drinks.

One afternoon, I was trading texts with this new fellow (who happened to be seriously into music), talking about which bands we liked and our favorite songs. I mentioned The Script. I like their upbeat sound. Their music is great mid-afternoon, cruisin’ through spreadsheets, lovin’ life music.

His response was well, erm, less than enthused. I believe he said something along the lines of “they use way too many major chords like every other pop-sounding band.” He may have also called them “bland.”

My first response to his (honestly, kind of douche-y) text?

I’m impressed.

Because GUESS WHAT, GUYS? I didn’t give ANY SHITS about whether or not he’d like the band I liked. I honestly could care less.

Agreeing is easy. People-pleasing is comfortable. Forming and sharing a diverging opinion is NOT.

Too often, we forget that it’s okay to disagree.

He quickly responded with, “Wow, sorry that made me sound like a total jerk.”

To which I said,

“Dude, it’s cool. Like what you like.”


It’s refreshing. It’s interesting. And frankly, sometimes it’s way too unexpected.

It’s simply too easy to agree. Too easy to be super mainstream with our thoughts and opinions. Too easy to be content with blending in. With going through the motions. With doing exactly what’s expected of us.

Thanks to the Internet, there’s an unbelievable amount of culture available right at our fingertips… but in our race to consume it, so few of us want to take the time to really think about and form opinions on the stuff we’re looking at/listening to. So few want to formulate and share diverging thoughts… and often the people that do so get painted as a “hipster” or “liberal.” This is a whole other blog post that could be written, but I’ll spare you… for now.

For the most part, we’re too busy re-sharing the same overdone memes on social media (seriously, that Justin Timberlake It’s Gonna Be May meme drove me bonkers) to really think about the stuff we’re sharing and caring about.

I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head:  “Like what you like.” It’s become a bit of a mantra to help me embrace the things that make me, ME.

Being that I wholeheartedly believe in seeking out new experiences, adventures and ideas, I added a phrase to it:


Get to know yourself a little better. Take a stance on something. Take a step back from pop culture and ask yourself, “do I actually like that?” or “what makes this something I like?” I’ve been asking myself these questions and realizing that, whoa, I’m not as basic as I thought…And while I might feel “weird,” I feel so much more authentically (is that even a word?) ME.

Because man, weird beats boring every damn day.

When’s the last time you questioned what you actually like and owned it? 

P.S. You can follow me on Spotify if you’re interested.

P.P.S. Bloggers: Cassie wrote on some of these ideas as they apply to blogging and well, she killed it.


  • Brianna Soloski says:

    I’m following you now and looking forward to checking out some of your music. I’m obsessed with Spotify (although I refuse to pay for premium – the ads are not that big of a deal to me). I love finding new artists and rediscovering old favorites (Jimmy Eat World, anyone?).

  • I made the switch from Pandora to Spotify at the beginning of 2014, and I’m loving it! I never paid for Pandora because I had a good enough adblocker in my browser that I didn’t have to listen to ads, but Spotify has so much more functionality like building your own playlists, listening offline, etc. It’s amazing. Since I have to stay on top of music for work, it’s indispensable!

    And “authentically” is definitely a word, and a great way to live. Loved this post. I’ve just found your blog in the last few weeks and I’m really enjoying your thoughtful posts.

    • Thank you so much Molly! So happy to have you here.

      I’m currently enjoying the first free month of Spotify premium and I think I’m going to keep it – so much functionality!! 🙂

  • Agent Q says:

    Haha, that’s a great way to approach this topic. It reminded me of my times with my ex when I constantly poke fun at this particular food he love [but I hate], to which he replies with his own snarky response. Although we lightheartedly quibbled over little things we disagreed on, our honesty with our tastes and each other allowed us to express ourselves openly. It’s cute, actually. And this is why despite the fact that things ended, we’re still great friends. Communication can take us long way. We gotta be honest with ourselves! 😀

    • YEAH girl! This is an awesome comment. You’re so right about communication and honesty – so crucial!

  • I’m happy he recognized his douchey ways and acknowledged it, haha! Sadly, often there’s so much judgement around what other people like, differing perceptions, viewpoints, and interests… but what makes us different is also what makes us awesome. “Like what you like!” PHWOAR!

    • Hahaha you’re right! I like a spirited discourse, as long as everyone is polite and nice! 🙂

  • Katie @ A Beautiful Little Adv says:

    You’re so on point! I remember the first time I learned this lesson. As an emotional teenager and early 20 something I refused to “like” any music that wasn’t “underground”. I thought it made me sound more real, interesting, and smart. You know what? I love pop music and classic folk/rock musci. Give me James Taylor and Taylor Swift all day every day. I now share that openly and use that lesson for sharing my true heart in all instances. Be you and no one else.

    • Yeah, girl! WOO. I think another line from this particular conversation was something along the lines of “pop music is popular for a REASON. Lots of people like that particular sound.” James Taylor and Taylor Swift sound like a legit combo!

  • Saraspunza says:

    So very true. What a terrific reminder to be true to yourself and your likes. Thank you for this!

  • Haha, if that guy were from Portland and had texted that to me, I would have rolled my eyes and written him off as a pretentious hipster. But your reaction is very cool. I’ve always been someone who likes what she likes, not gonna lie, and in the past I’ve let myself feel alienated for what I like. I’m much more accepting of my differences now (and my uncoolness), and find it’s important to keep this in mind with dating- I see so many guys being very specific about what they want (no yoga, no organic, must love bacon, must love country), and when I see that I clearly don’t fit their little box, I’m happy to move on. It’s nice to be clear on who you are and what you like.

    • Hahah my affinity for pretentious hipster men probably explains my response (and also my continued singledom, lol). I find it so frustrating when guys have those specific, narrow boxes! I’d rather be different than one another so that I can learn something from them every time we hang out/interact.

  • Darci Miller says:

    Love this! I’m a massive Olympics fan, which is apparently a very offbeat interest when you obsess over it more than just every two years. People can get a little weird about it, but I’ve totally given up caring and have come to embrace being the source of all Olympic knowledge for the people in my life. I won’t talk about it unless someone else brings it up, but if someone’s looking for some random Olympic fact? Step out of the way, folks, I got this. 😉 haha. Life is so much better when you own what you like!

    • That is so cool! What an awesome thing to be into! I love that. Definitely keep owning it! 😉

  • Amber Thomas says:

    I needed to read this today. Mostly because I have a new friend and we disagree on the big things that define our lives right now. And, for some reason, we are drawn to one another over and over and over. I felt bad for being just what she isn’t into, and for being into just what she isn’t… But while the differences are stark they are also allowed. And it’s the first time this has happened. And it makes me want to be her friend even more… I guess there’s only so much room for Step-fordism.

    I ADORE THE SCRIPT. Always have, always will.


      I like the sounds of this friendship! It’s fun to be challenged by different viewpoints, isn’t it?! 🙂

  • Ben says:

    Wow. This guy sounds like a total ass.

  • Cassie says:

    Thanks for the shout-out, Erika!

    This was a lesson I had to learn early on if I was going to continue being a total Bon Jovi fan. Do you know what it’s like as a 14-year-old in 9th grade (during the 2000’s, mind you, NOT the ’80s) and telling people your favorite band is a bunch of dudes your dad’s age? Well, let’s just say you get a lot of weird looks and mean jokes, haha. I totally owned it though. I was insecure about a lot of other things, but my love for them was strong. 🙂

    Now, though, I have a hard time articulating who my favorite bands are, and it’s a very weird feeling indeed. Nothing I hear inspires me anymore! It’s deeply unsettling, because music used to be my life. I have been using Spotify more lately, though. Will have to follow you there!

    • Of course! I’m weirdly obsessed with your post. It was exactly what I needed to read, so I decided everyone else did too.

      About to go add some Bon Jovi to my Spotify station right now… 🙂

  • What a great post! I’m so on board with this…though sometimes it’s easier said than done.

    • You’re definitely right about that. But it’s always fun to “get to know yourself” a bit better by thinking about it/advocating for your taste! 🙂

  • Al says:

    Totally my mantra lately too. Fabulous post!….although, every time I saw “It’s Gonna Be May.” I couldn’t help but chuckle… 😉 This one gets me every time too.. I clearly have the sense of humor of a grandfather.

  • Vanessa says:

    “Their music is great mid-afternoon, cruisin’ through spreadsheets, lovin’ life music…” – I know exactly what you mean by this! There is nothing like finding the perfect background music for spreadsheet slayin’. 😉

    For what it’s worth, I’ve found that people who can’t name a favorite band usually listen to such a wide variety of music that it becomes difficult for them to choose just one. I have a background as a classically trained pianist (*sticks pinky in air*), but if you take a peek at my playlists you’ll find everything from Yo-Yo Ma to Wilco to Shad to Garbage to She & Him to Jason freakin’ Derulo. It is ALL good.

    Have you tried Rdio at all? It’s a paid service, but you can do a free trial just to check it out. I’ve been using it for at least a year and it is probably the best money I have ever spent!

  • So, when I switched over to Spotify at New Years, mostly thanks to @google-bdca278a4f8174419489e3a62e8f0e21:disqus, I realized I didn’t know the name of songs I liked or artists that sang them. I’ve never been especially good at retaining that kind of info, but Spotify regularly reminds me how terrible I am at it.

    But, I agree, like what you like. I listen to a lot of country. I’ve known plenty of people who tell me how much they hate it. I don’t care. They can listen to their music, I can listen to mine. It makes no difference in my life if they don’t like it or I don’t like their music. Same logic applies to lots of things for me. It’s also one of those things that, even when you do your own thing for most of your life, gets easier with age, you just stop worrying about what other people think.

    • Ah worrying about what other people think. The bane of happiness in life. But so stupid difficult to shake. I’m workin’ on this one A LOT.

  • Mo says:

    Just gotta say, I LOVE ONE DIRECTION. My husband and I are OBSESSED. We are driving six hours to see them in Chicago this August, and I am freakishly counting down the days.

    All our friends think we’re crazy and stupid for diggin’ on a boy band so fierce. But you know what? I don’t care. I will scream my lungs out at that concert with a bunch of teeny-bop girls and love every minute of it.

    Like what you like, love what you love.

    • Oh my gosh. Little Things by One Direction is one of my absolute FAVORITE songs right now.

      I’m so happy I’m not the only non-teen diggin’ their goodness. That sounds awesome!!

      • Mo says:

        No joke: the first time I heard that song while driving in my car, I cried. And sometimes, I still cry. Pure magic.

  • […] Yes! Like what you like: Get to know yourself a little better. Take a stance on something. Take a step back from pop culture and ask yourself, “do I actually like that?” or “what makes this something I like?” I’ve been asking myself these questions and realizing that, whoa, I’m not as basic as I thought…And while I might feel “weird,” I feel so much more authentically (is that even a word?) ME. Of course you want to surround yourself with smart, uplifting people. Who should you actively avoid? […]

  • Danielle says:

    Yes, I love this post! I like such a crazy mix of things that I’ve learned to just go with it over the years. For example, I love Young Adult novels and probably always will, no matter how old I am. Oh well! I can totally relate to the music thing, though. I haven’t “found a new band” in years, despite still listening to a lot of music. My favorite band is still Third Eye Blind. Again, oh well. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    • YESS I’m so on board with YA novels as well. I love a quick, emotional read and YA always delivers.

  • kaisa says:

    True that! Except I try not to tell people that some of the music they like I hate. No need to hurt their feelings. I just say I am not into that band/artist. Though true music lovers probably don’t care what other think and like and that’s how it should be!

  • Ktcyril says:

    I completely agree. My very similar mantra is “You do you.” However, my one deal breaker for a man is not liking Harry Potter. That’s just unacceptable for our generation.

    • GIRL I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND. One time a guy started a conversation with me by asking if I were a wizard attending Hogwarts, which house I’d be in… and well, *swoon*

  • […] Yes! Like what you like: Get to know yourself a little better. Take a stance on something. Take a step back from pop culture and ask yourself, “do I actually like that?” or “what makes this something I like?” I’ve been asking myself these questions and realizing that, whoa, I’m not as basic as I thought…And while I might feel “weird,” I feel so much more authentically (is that even a word?) ME. […]

  • Kristin says:

    I sort of love this discussion of acknowledging what you like (and to be honest, I do the same thing with Pandora but just am not ready to pay for Spotify). I feel like as I get older, I’m way more comfortable with accepting what I do and do not like…and being ok with that! I’m totally cool skipping out on the concert all my friends might be going to because I just don’t like standing that long. And that’s ok!

  • Love the “try everything, but like what you like”. I like music but I can’t get into the deep theory…or really any intellectual conversation about it…I’m out. I like what I like, and if it has a good beat then I’m in 🙂 You had a great response!

  • […] Like What You Like […]

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  • Amber Thomas says:

    this is completely (and yet not) irrelevant, but i heart The Script so hard.

    i totally believe in like what you like. but realize that some days living out that mentality is damn hard. like when people don’t like tattoos and can’t get over the dislike… and i feel stupid and unworthy. because that happens.

    so yes, like what you like. always.

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