I’m Socially Awkward

The prevalence of being “socially awkward” on the web and what it really means

By Meghan Tibbits, staff writer

Hello internet!

Today I want to talk to you about the real meaning of the phrase “socially awkward.”Not the internet version of “socially awkward,” but what it means to actually be “socially awkward.” If you, like me, spend roughly 96% of your waking hours on YouTube and various social media sites, you probably know exactly where I’m going with this.

What I’m trying to get at here is the extremely high frequency of successful people referring to themselves as “socially awkward” on the internet.  If you still have no clue what I’m talking about, all you have to do is look at a few of the more popular YouTube personalities, such as Dan Howell, Charlie MacDonnell, Grace Helbig, or Natalie Tran.  The list goes on. Not to mention every person on Tumblrever.

Now, I am by no means a mathematician, but if what I’ve noticed is correct, then the equation for internet success goes something like this:

Being attractive + Being “socially awkward” + Being on the internet = <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/ZTEfInwgxVs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

I don’t mean you become a washed-up rapper, butyou can make a lot of money, if that wasn’t clear.Also, not that it’s a necessity, but being a painfully adorable British boy helps a lot.

Realistically, there is no way that all of these amazing people who create fantastically hilarious internet content are as strange as they make themselves out to be.It seems that just normal things that the average person goes through in their adolescence are now being defined on the internet as “socially awkward,” when really the reason these YouTube personalities garner so much success is because they are relatable.

I personally think that the term is being overused. This is why I have devised a helpful list of comparisons between situations that are “Internet Awkward” and situations that are “Real Life Awkward.”  I hope you find these useful for differentiating between the two the next time you are on Tumblr.

Internet Awkward:
“I don’t relate well to most of the people at my high school. They think I’m sort of weird”

Real Life Awkward:
When I was in the ninth grade, there was this kid at my high school who, on most days, would either dress up as Wolverine from X-men or as a businessman. Don’t ask me how he chose which one to be in the morning, I guess some days just felt like a “Wolverine” kind of day. Anyway, he used to go around with boxes of cereal and offer handfuls of it to groups of students in a horrible,fake British accent. Who wants to eat a handful of dry, whole wheat Cheerios from British pubescent Wolverine? Not me.

What’s more, people used to dress up as this kid for Halloween. I don’t mean they also dressed up as Wolverine or a businessman, I mean they would dress up as him dressed up as Wolverine or a businessman. Yeah. I know. They would even mimic his fake British accent. If people aren’t dressing up as you for Halloween, you are less socially awkward than this guy.

Internet Awkward:

“I always laugh at the wrong times. It can make situations really uncomfortable.”

Real Life Awkward:

In my twelfth grade chemistry class, there was this kid who stuttered whenever he spoke. It got really bad whenever he was forced to give presentations at the front of the class. One day, he was giving a presentation about carbon or something and his stutter kicked in and it sounded like he said… well… the stutter made it sound like he said a certain part of the female anatomy.

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