By Stephanie Smith

Like many, I take solace in music. There is nothing better than finding a song that makes your heart beat a little faster, or bonding with a friend over a song you thought no one else knew, or lyrics that explain feelings you never thought could be captured in words. There’s so much to like about music. Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and cheese. With music serving so much to so many people, it’s inevitable that you’ll be accosted by the “connoisseur.” Just as annoying and condescending as backseat drivers and one-uppers (“Oh, you thought YOUR day was bad? Well, let me just tell you what happened to me!”), there is the music snob. And they take on many different forms.

There’s the “Oh, I liked them before they sold out” snob, or as I lovingly refer to them, the “oh, I liked that first obscure EP they put out back when they barely knew how to play their instruments” snob. This particular breed of musical arbiter feels genuine pain whenever a band is signed to a label (which equates to selling out, in the atypical music snob’s mind) and all hope is lost.

Then, there are the snobs who feel they are the authority on all things music. They’re highly likely to spout useless facts about that band you’ve never heard of, but “you would have if you had any kind of taste at all,” in an effort to solidify their place on the musical hierarchy. That album is only good if they liked it, and most of them don’t know the definition of “opinion.”

Finally, there are those who feel it is their civic duty to enlighten all those around them. Now, don’t get me wrong; one of my very favorite things to do is to share the music I love with people I know will appreciate and love it, too. But when being enlightened by your own personal snob, they will often berate you if you don’t become obsessed with the music they share and often only do it because they want credit for having known that band first. (“How many music snobs does it take to change a lightbulb?” “Nine. One to do it, and eight to say they did it first.”)

Truth is – it doesn’t really matter what type of music bully you happen to come across, if you’ve ever been made to feel ashamed of the music you love, just don’t let it happen again. Frankly, it’s lame, and like all things in life – if it makes you happy, then just ignore the negativity.

And if, for whatever reason I clearly do not understand, you fit the description of the music snob – consider stopping. We all have opinions, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing them, but I can think of nothing worse than tainting something with such incredible bonding capabilities (see: music) and turning it into something to be ashamed of. Just enjoy it.