Half my age ago, I was approached by the producers of the Swedish Big Brother TV show as they were recruiting for the first time.
Not knowing what pre-qualifications had already taken place, and cleared, the pitch was made. Not really interested, I agree to an interview the following day.
Before moving on, I got to say that I wasn’t sought out nor was I on any list that would direct these people to me.
I just happen to be the competent, cheerful and super handsome IT guy 😉 outsourced to the production company with the goal of keeping the users happy.
Anyway, a series of questions were fired my way during the interview after a few formalities were out of the way.
And this is where I started to feel different, almost to the point where I wondered if something was wrong with me.
Was it normal to be this cool about everything?
Every question posed was a closed one trying to funnel me down a number of paths that would ultimately, and pungently, categorize me to an extreme at one end or another.
Sensitive topics where no straightforward answer could ever be justified without further elaboration. And it was painfully clear that the interviewers had little to no interest in a proper answer…
Just raw opinions and emotions are that worn on one’s sleeves.
What do you think about homosexuals, ok or not?
What do you hate the most?
How would you react if x, y or z would arise?
Pretty early on I understood what they were after. Conflict at every possible turn within the group.
That’s what’s make good TV after all, right!?
At this point, I lost total interest, and it was showing. The session ended shortly thereafter, and we dispensed our polite goodbyes knowing none of us would ever contact the other on the subject ever again.
Not long after the interview, the same day, I couldn’t stop wondering if something was wrong with me. I should be able to have a strong opinion, or even hate something and stand up for it, shouldn’t I?
I truly didn’t.
It felt like I was walking a line of naïveté between loving and hating with a passion. Would I eventually mature and choose a tribe of passionate love-haters, however large or small a subject?
Somewhere a long time, thoughts of me being different faded, but not completely removed. Because, for better or for worse, I am in fact different.
Thinking back both before and after the big brother interview, I realized exactly why, even my then closest friends and I, no longer were that close anymore.
I still love them to bits, and if I’m ever needed, I will do whatever I can to help them.
But the fact is: if you don’t share some loves and hates for the same things, your friendship will eventually change into something else…
Into something real or into something fake. Into which depends on your integrity.