Inside-jokes and knowledge create communities

Two stormtroopers (from Star Wars) in a hangman kind-of game.

I talked in a past article on how inside-jokes work, and how they help building relationships, as individuals, or groups. I also highlighted the fact that there’s no need for them to be jokes, rather than plain knowledge. Specially if that knowledge brings you some kind of emotion: sharing that emotion with someone else, and only with that person/group will give you the same feeling the knowledge gives you, plus the feeling of getting closer to someone thanks to the sense of exclusiveness the knowledge has created.

Now, take that to a greater scale and what do we have? Entire societies based on the existence of that knowledge.

Remember geeky films like Star Wars, or books like The Lord of The Rings? Can you see how even today people talk about them? How it all has become a culture of worship to the stories… It has less to do with the fact of them being fantasies so great they had so survive centuries, rather than being something a group (a large group) of people liked, at the time. They liked it so much, they liked other people who liked it, too.

Because they felt closer to those people, to the ones who actually felt the same watching the first movie or book, and feel the same when re-watching or re-reading it. The reason it has growth, that the cultures have captivated more and more people is precisely that: other people feel curious. They watch the movies or read the books and suddenly they are part of it.

They wanted to be in that club, and for that they had to know something. They had to acquire the knowledge of those entertainment art pieces. And as they did, they are now part of a bigger and bigger culture.

It all has to do with knowing something others don’t. It can be as simple as knowing what happened yesterday or not knowing it taking you in or out of the conversation. Knowing what’s need or not knowing it takes you closer or farther from the group who knows.

And… So… You want to know, don’t you?

Photo by Stéfan.

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