We Millennials, children of the Nintendo/Atomic Kitten dance routines at lunchtime/Alien babies in the fridge generation, have one thing in common; we are all awkward as fuck. Let's face it, the majority of us make Screech from Saved By The Bell look like a regular Don Lothario due to our distinct lack of social grace. And its not our fault; awkwardness is in fact celebrated in our society, as we champion balking and gurning self confessed spazoids as the mascots of our generation.
All-elbows Emma Stone and stair-tripping Jennifer Lawrence shoulder their way through interviews with snorting laughs and inappropriate anecdotes. Adele teaches us how to force smiles and Jesse Eisenberg manages to simultaneously alienate himself and his interviewer in less than one minute (which has to be a new record). Then there's Kristen Stewart - the Hunchback of Los Angeles; a slouching yet gorgeous girl with a gorgeous-er boyfriend, who apparently attends movie premières at gunpoint. Taylor Swift reminds us that you can be toothy and lanky and still bang Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner ... fuck it, everyone (you just have to be the nations stunning country-singing sweetheart too). We love them for their over-sharing and off beat dancing.
Awkward soon became 'awks', appropriately shortened for its new and necessary constant usage. A TV show featuring a chick in an arm brace appeared, aptly titled 'Awkward', which I've never seen but I can already tell the protagonist will have an implausible relationship with a jock of some type. Facebook pages recalling 'That awkward moment when...' littered our timelines, reminding us that hey, you may be better at talking to yourself than to anyone else, but aren't we all? Awkwardness has even been categorised by race, 'The Awkward Black Girl' describing awkward encounters from the perspective of, well an awkward black girl. Topshop began stocking tops with 'Geek' emblazoned on the front, making us feel better about weekends shunning potential dates for a cold apple juice and Tales of Eternia. Geeks and nerds are no longer a disenfranchised sub-sector of society- they just now come at different levels of attractiveness and social ineptitude. The awkward epidemic takes no prisoners.
Yes, we are well and truly in an Awks renaissance. And it must be stopped at once.
We can't all we be socially inept for goodness sake! How will we ever get anything done? If you're not going to say hello first, you can certainly count on the fact I would much rather barbecue my own braids, then feed them to myself at a Jessie J concert whilst holding hands with Robbie Williams whose helping wash down my barbecued braids with prune juice, than do it myself. Do we not realise that for every one awkward person on the planet, there needs to be at least three non-awkward, actual functioning human beings to help lower the awkward guy onto a stretcher after he falls into a faint at the prospect of a group interview? The truth is, if Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet had just carried on sharing uncomfortable, sexual tension ridden dances in real life, they would have never been married by the end of Pride and Prejudice. In reality, Lizzie would have ended up with that evil soldier guy who would have happily carried on banging her under-age sister behind her back, whilst Darcy married his cousin with rickets or whoever else wasn't me.
I suffer from what I personally believe is the most horrific type of awkwardness known to man. I'm so awkward, that thinking about how awkward I am makes me feel so awkward I burst into flames and die. After I am resurrected, I do it all again. But what makes it particularly horrific is that its not that endearing, Michael Cera, look-at-this-girl-she's-so-cute-let-me-put-her-out-of-her-misery-and-make-her-some-cookies awkward that we see on E4 teen dramedies. Its that ballsy, loud, laugh before the jokes finished, tell strangers about the time I sneezed in assembly and it sounded like a fart and nobody let it go for 3 years, kind of awkward. People think awkwardness is a sanctuary for the shy. I really do wish this was the case, as I wouldn't have had to spit my foot out of my mouth (which even in a metaphor would still happen to land in the face of my ex boyfriends mother, knowing my luck) all the bloody time. People think I'm ignoring them if I don't wave at the bus stop but its usually because I've left my glasses at home and can't see them. I confidently pronounced 'faux' and 'forks' for about 19 years and probably say 'I can explain' more than anything else, due to usually being caught doing something that either appears to be illegal or just extremely odd. I have that awful, Jennifer Lawrencesque, gushing whilst gurning thing going, which is all good and well when you're Katniss Everdeen and everybody loves you, yet no so great when you're not. I am referred to as 'goofy' more than Yomi. I always manage to remember Y.O.L.O but never Y.O.G.O.C.T.M.A.F.F.I (You only get one chance to make a first fucking impression). Compliments from anyone other than myself make me shrivel up and die instantaneously. I am a girl/woman hybrid of many talents; staring at strangers, downloading Sims 2 custom content, alienating people I have feelings for, sweating copious amounts at networking events and writing about it all on a non-anonymous blog.
So why is society suddenly a satchel of eye-contact averting, fake-laughing freaks? My theory is its too much Twitter, not enough talking. Too much instagram and not enough interaction. People don't need social skills any more because they can still make it with the chick from Brazzers at the end of the night (without even having to leave the comfort of their room!). As social media expands our social skills implode. Or did we just grow up with awkward idols like Michael Jackson that made us think trembling and nervous laughter were the keys to success?
Maybe this is just part of the Emperor of Awkwardness himself, Mark Zuckerberg's plan to make us all weird and antisocial and clammy like he is? If so, its working marvellously well.
Anywho, I'm off to stare at some peeps and then ignore them.