How do you define “cool”? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “fashionably attractive or impressive.” But that seems rather relative, don’t you think? I mean who defines what’s fashionably attractive or impressive? And what is our culture’s obsession with wanting to be “cool”?
As if the “cool” concept wasn’t already complicated enough, now, thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like, we are watching what is “cool” unfold, transform, and solidify right before our very eyes. Everyday images on our computers and iPhones are infiltrating our minds and heavily influencing, even manipulating, our thoughts. We see pictures of celebrities rocking an eclectic haircut then we go out and get it because we think it’s cool. We see our friends rocking a particular fashion style, everybody is doing it, and so it must be cool! Without a doubt, social networking sites have screwed up our already skewed definition of “cool”. So, using these same social networking sites, I’ve set out to inform the public of 5 things we think are “cool”, that really aren’t at all.
- Celebrities. Now let me be clear, certainly a celebrity can be cool, but their celebrity status alone doesn’t make it so. The problem is, we tend to assume that a celebrity is “cool” when in reality we know nothing about him/her as a person. Granted, many celebrities are also trendsetters and that can be cool, but not if their taste is bad! …Or their morals… behaviors…hearts… At the end of the day, their character, just like ours, trumps all. And unless you know them personally, it’s doubtful you could know their character.
- Money. Money isn’t cool! It’s a commodity, a method of trade. So why do we assume because a person has money they must be cool?! Again, it’s social media that’s throwing us off here. We see them on a yacht, travelling high seas, doing big things, and we think, “Hey! That’s cool!” Which it is. But that doesn’t mean the person doing those things is.
- Exclusivity. Exclusivity seems to be all the rage these days. Exclusive clubs, exclusive parties, exclusive events, exclusive invites. It’s absurd. I get that it’s human nature to want what you can’t have, and perhaps that explains why we think exclusive things are “cool”, but really?! Exclusive is the opposite of inclusive, and in my book- that’s not cool.
- Fame. How cool does never being alone for the rest of your life sound to you? Yea…not cool at all.
- Popularity. We assume when someone is popular that they must be cool. But what if this person has so many “friends” because they can’t be alone? That’s not cool. To go even further, what if this person is an addict or an alcoholic and that’s the reason they are always partying and out on the town? Again, Not cool.
Which brings us full circle. The point is we should never assume a person is “cool” just because he/she is a celebrity, has money, goes to exclusive parties, is famous, or popular, or any other reason for that matter. Especially when we only know that person via social media (i.e. We haven’t seen them in many years, or worse, we’ve never met them at all).
Only you know what matters and what doesn’t in your character preferences. So you are the only one who can define what “cool” means to you. No one and nothing else can do that for you. In the same way, we must each individually define who is cool, through the only means possible, by getting to know the person…which you cant do on social media, might I add.
And while I’m at it, the number of “likes” you have, has nothing to do with how “cool” you are either. But that’s another article for another day.
So don’t let social media screw with your head. Remove your blinders and always remember that you are an individual, and for that, you are cool.