What’s cool right now? Seriously — things are changing every 27 minutes and here the uncool kids are, scrambling through Urban Dictionary and performing extensive Google searches to decipher cryptic acronyms and lingo. Now, I’m currently in my twenties, a time period in which many of us reach our peak coolness, yet I feel like a 50-something, out-of-touch, recently divorced father trying to figure out what’s currently in, so he can hold a conversation with his teenage children.
Does this stuff come in newsletter form? Is there some exclusive memo or cool-kid-illuminati type of secret society meeting that excludes the rest of us? Or is it called Twitter? Please help. Share your secrets with the uncool and we promise to bring Krispy Kreme donuts to every meeting… Are donuts still cool? Oh, God – what are cool people eating? Vegan donuts? Do they make those? What about Kale? I feel like a lot of popular people talk about Kale… Quinoa?… Yeah, we’ll bring kale and quinoa to the meetings.
It’s just hard to find a shtick that works these days. For years I’ve been skimming by, milking my ability to create cheesy puns and embracing half-hearted laughs. As time went by, they turned to quarter-hearted giggles, then to 1/10th-hearted chuckles. So I began doing research for my fellow uncool folks and here’s what my studies have shown. Hopefully these things lead to you become hip. Which leads to my first realization.
1. The word “hip” is not a word you want to use when describing something “cool.” The only time you should utter this word is when referring to the side of your body below the waist OR a HIP – aka health insurance plan (acronyms are in, remember that). Replace hip with cool, fresh, dope, sick, sweet, niiice, awesome, epic, amazing, a-mah-zing, or legit. So you can say, my HIP is covering the entire cost of my injured hip, and I think that’s pretty legit.
2. write in lowercase. i’m not sure if lowercase is cool because it looks like whatevs, my pinky doesn’t feel like stretching to hold that “shift” key for .1 seconds, but it’s certainly a thing. it’s basically a slap in the face of grammar and conventions, but how else will people know you don’t give a damn about being proper. if you’re going to write on social networks make sure to adopt this method – which leads to the next point.
3. Tweet. Twitter is cool. There are so many witty people in the world and many of them showcase their talents in the top comments section of various YouTube videos, or Twitter. There’s an abundance of comedians and writers with the ability to make you laugh out loud in 140 characters or less.
4. Smoking stuff? I couldn’t confirm this one, but I’m like 56% sure that some form of smoking is cool. It depends, some people loathe it, but the people that smoke are enthusiastic and passionate about it. Weed, cigarettes or hookah – surely you like one of those, right? If not, just carry a lighter around or wear a cigarette behind your ear and fake it ‘til you make it.
5. lots of people on social networks, even if you don’t know them. Some of them will accept and suddenly you’ve got thousands of friends! Sure you don’t know them, but they’re a potential “like.” Oh, by the way…
6. Facebook “Likes” and “Retweets” on Twitter are cool. They define you so get more of them if you ever want to be somebody. No matter what they said when you were young, your parents don’t truly love you until you’ve reached 1,000 friends and/or followers.
7. Take pictures of your food OR hate on people who take pictures of their food. Choose your side and stick to it, either way you can be cool, you just can’t be an in-betweener who doesn’t take pictures or badmouth those who do. Hate, hate, hate – which leads to point #8…
8. Be meaner. Find something people enjoy doing and hate on it. That seems to be widely popular. Sure, we could just not look at pictures of that person’s turkey burger or ignore the #person #who #uses #lots #of #hashtags but don’t do that. Get worked up. Be stressed out. Talk about how annoyed and aggravated things make you. It’s not about why you stopped to look at someone’s picture of their Frappuccino and cake pops, it’s about why they are so horrible for posting that in the first place. If seeing certain things annoys you, don’t skip over or go to means to politely block them from your view – get mean, get nasty and vocalize your disdain for the social networking habits of others.
9. Realize that there is no such thing as a way to be cool. If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been kidding about most of this. I mean, parts of this are accurate — Twitter is a great place to read hilarious jokes, but the thing I just said about being a shitty person is a definite no. Look, I’m not going to lie and say that being yourself is going to result in people finding you cool/funny/make you popular, but it’s always the right move. Nobody is cool to everyone. You don’t want to spend all day pretending to be someone you’re not, doing things that aren’t you and using phrases because lots of other people did. We’re all a little odd or unique, it’s just that some people are willing to do their own thing, and others are 24/7 performers, doing their best impression of what seems “in” and often criticizing others for their unconventional ways. There’s not so much a way to be cool, as there is a way to have a knack for recognizing trends and an ability to ride their waves. Never be ashamed, guys – for the first three months of the “YOLO” era, I was under the impression that it meant “you obviously lack originality,” and in a way, I was absolutely correct.