Is social awkwardness suddenly cool?


It seems to me that Millennials like to tell everyone how socially awkward they are, even when it doesn’t really apply. I don’t think it’s false modesty and I don’t think a majority of this younger generation has Aspergers, Avoidant or Schizoid Personality Disorder, or Social Phobia.

No, I think they think being socially awkward is cool. Maybe it’s just that people who frequent Internet forums or write blogs are more introverted, but I think there’s more to it than that.

Take my daughter. She’s the opposite of me in many ways. She’s never been shy. She always made friends easily. She was always invited to all the parties and the popular and cool kids always liked her. She always knew what the latest catchphrases meant and seems to know about fashion trends before they’re really mainstream.

It’s true that over the past year or two she’s become a little quieter and is less likely to go out with her friends or out to parties, but I think that’s because she’s a little older now and is engaged to a guy who’s more introverted than she is and likes to hang around at home.

The other day she wrote a new description of herself on her Facebook profile, which announced to the world that she was socially awkward. But she isn’t. Does she just see herself as socially awkward when she really isn’t? Or is social awkwardness the new cool?

I wonder about that because for the past few years, being an “Aspie” seems to be a kind of badge of honor for Millennials. I think they think being an Aspie makes them seem smarter. It’s true that many people with Aspergers are very intelligent, but not really more so than the general population, and there are dumb ones too, just as there are dumb neurotypicals. But Aspies, no matter what their intelligence level, are known for their social awkwardness. So if being an Aspie is cool, maybe that extends to social awkwardness being cool too.  I think movies like The Social Network, which glorify geekiness, might play into this trend too.

I sure wish social awkwardness was cool when I was my daughter’s age, because I really am socially awkward and have always been that way. Maybe I would have been regarded as cool and that would have been good for my low self esteem.

I think the meme I posted above might prove that my suspicions are correct!


5 thoughts on “Is social awkwardness suddenly cool?

      • It may be a fad — part of the trend toward lionizing geeks and nerds, who in an earlier time were social outcasts — but I think it’s also likely that there really are more socially awkward people now than in past generations. Kids who grow up sitting indoors staring at screens for most of their waking hours are not developing the kind of social skills that kids who spent most of the day running around outside and playing with the other kids in the neighborhood developed. It’s like a muscle; you have to exercise it if you want it to become strong. (Obviously, for those of us with underlying conditions that make us socially awkward — or in my case downright inept — it’s always going to be more challenging, no matter how much we may attempt to exercise our social skills.)

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Happy Groundhog Day! Did he see his shadow? Have you eve posted a pic of you as a child? I can’t remember.


  2. Pingback: Featured Bloggers 2/11/16: Networking 101 | Dream Big, Dream Often

Comments are closed.