Thought Catalog

5 Social Crutches We All Fall Victim To

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1. Cup-Clutching

I was recently at a party where solo cups were abound, and the alcohol was flowing with the fury of (insert your favorite river here). However, since this was a “Mid-20’s Party,” not everybody only the single people wished to reprise the Battle Of Schwastings.

Feeling a little bit under the weather, I decided I was going to strictly abide by moderation. This of course meant looking at my drunk friends with an unjustified air of condescension, whilst outwardly appearing like I didn’t necessarily want to be there. A dangerous line to toe for many reasons; one, you risk become the humorless toad who slowly stops getting invites. And two, you announce yourself as a prime target to be overturned by peer pressure.

This is where cup-clutching comes in. Finish 92% of your drink, then spend the next 47 minutes with a minimal amount of liquid in your cup. It prevents you from refilling, and no one can call you out for being empty handed. A crutch perhaps, but also super clutch.

2. Fake Texting/Phone Reticence

“Fake texting” was pretty revelatory in the mid to late aughts. Now, it’s arguably way too commonplace to be called out as an astute observation.

Except that it’s not at all–just like The Others in Season 3 of LOST, our unprecedented adaptation to previously foreign soil has brought about serious progress and organic maturation.

As we all know, smartphones make avoiding other humans in social settings laughably easy. Sometimes this is a necessary front–particularly when other surrounding parties “set the tone” with pre-emptive smartphone usage. This is an act that’s become increasingly common in unfamiliar social settings, but it’s an act that is no longer wholly dependent on texting–Candy Crush, Twitter Scrolling, and purposeless screen staring all get the job done here. Which inherently, dilutes the gravity and value of the pseudo text.

Which inherently, due to it’s perceived diluted gravity, has become a lot more scarce–you don’t need to fake text anymore, so why would you?

Exactly.

Fake a text in 2013, and it now seems a lot more real. Ride that wave of assumed authenticity, and you’re suddenly the coolest feline in the crowded kitchen you’re pregaming in.

3. Esoteric Assumed Knowledge

I recently moved to a new apartment with new roommates. The thing about new roommates is that unlike your old roommates, you have to spend the first few months convincing them you’re not the serial killer you truly are. You also have to bridge the gap between your diverse cultural knowledge bases…especially nowadays, living in the same space will make you privy to specific set of viral youtube videos, an odd strain of “universally embraced songs” (see below), and most importantly, pop-culture fueled inside jokes.

Meaning that when one of your new homies asks you a question about that possibly popular rapper you totally should know but don’t, how do you respond? Will a simple head nod, “yea,” and fake smile allow you to escape unscathed? Do you blatantly admit you don’t know what he’s talking about, and ruin all the friend momentum you’ve been painstakingly building for weeks? Should you call him out for assuming you know what he’s talking about?

Logic says the social crutch lies in the mindset of the aggressor. But as the great Edmund Burke once said, “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

So goes the perpetual human struggle for emotional validation.

4. Instagram

Have you ever read an article on the internet lamenting the ills of social media? Of course you have. This is because social media is totes something that YOU feel passionate about. Rule number one of being a self-absorbed person on the internet–don’t talk about something novel and original, talk about something that YOU can relate to.

With that in mind, INSTAGRAM is a place where people visually sculpt the life they’d be living in their current ideal circumstance–the key here is that while the realities of your current job and living situation ensures you’re not gonna be instagramming yachts with Liam Hemsworth, the medium does enable you to skip all the shitty parts (90% of your existence) and play up all of the good parts (10%). The 10% then becomes the 100% for those former college roommates observing your life from afar, inevitably prompting them to abide by the same 90/10% rule in order to keep up. Given that this is all done visually, there’s literally zero damage control.

5. Self-Inflicted Joke Squashing

Have you ever told a joke to great, unexpected fanfare? Upon realizing that this sentiment granted you tremendous social approval, did you decide to continually insert that joke into seemingly applicable conversational scenarios, all with the end goal of inciting the same level of appreciation and validation from your peers? Did people start hating you after the 6th repetition of that joke?

Of course they did. The cutoff is three. Don’t be a hero. TC mark

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