“Awkward” is a funny thing. While it can be painful to watch, sometimes it has a way of reconnecting us with the real world—not just one of clichés, stereotypes, and formalities. Awkwardness is intriguing because not all of us are socially appropriate, which can remind us of what being human really means.
The popularity of awkwardness is reflected in the viewership of YouTube channels like LAHWF, Simple Pickup, Whatever, and many more. These channels show anything from starting odd conversations with pedestrians to asking out people at the park while wearing a superhero costume. With each video typically surpassing 500k views, it’s clear that socially disruptive behavior is entertaining. Shortly after stumbling upon LAHWF, I was inspired to shed my own fear of public ridicule and ask out a complete stranger. She said yes … but it didn’t work out. (Seriously? Who doesn’t like barbeque sauce?)
I think this rise of Awkward is a great example of how consumers—particularly Multicultural Millennials—are creating their own definitions of cool. The media is quick to pick up on these trends with characters like Zooey Deschanel in New Girl and Louis C.K. in Louie, but it’s the consumers who are the gatekeepers of cool.
Check out our U.S. Yankelovich MONITOR to learn more about Multicultural Millennials.
Image: Louie, FX Networks