Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What good is being cool?

Asked by wundayatta (58738points) October 23rd, 2009

In this question, we were asked to assess our own coolness. Which made me think: all my life I thought it would be cool to be cool. I imagined that cool people had better lives and got laid more often.

It occurred to me, then, that I should check that idea. Is that why people want to be cool? Just so people will like them? Or the right kind of people will like them? Or in order to get laid?

What good is being cool? Are we all hung up on that because it truly means something, or is it just one of those mythic ideas, and we accept it without questioning and without really knowing what it means?

If you’ve ever been at the top of the cool heap, what did it do for you? If you are somewhere lower down the food chain, what did you imagine being cool would do for you? In either case, can you describe how you experienced cool?

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37 Answers

Dog's avatar

When you are cool you are less likely to be used as a stepping stone for someone else wanting to look cool.

People follow you and you follow no one.
You are content within yourself and make your own rules.
You just are.

SheWasAll_'s avatar

I’m the master of cool in my life. Even if I’m not mainstream cool, I’m still awesome. If your self esteem needs boosting from others (thinking that you’re the cool kid), than that’s for you to deal with. But remember, it’s still SELF esteem.

dpworkin's avatar

When I was a young man I accidentally became pretty damned cool for a couple of years (long story short I was dating a B-List Movie Star, and hanging out with some other folks who were genuinely cool, rather than cool by propinquity.)

At any rate, I enjoyed being as though cool, and I imagined that coolness was somehow inherent to me, until the ride ended, and I learned that cool comes and goes when you’re just a guy.

Blondesjon's avatar

Well, for one thing, all of the cool kids are doing it.

Other than that I imagine it comes down to some very uncool neediness issues.

rooeytoo's avatar

My dogs think I am about the coolest person in the whole world! What more could I want?

judochop's avatar

Coolness. You’re either born with it or not.
Does it give you advantages? Yes it does.
I’ve had things given to me just because people assume I’m cool sometimes. Really I’m just a guy that really, really likes most of the things that get lumped as “cool.”

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’m instantly reminded of DeVo and “Through Being Cool”.

Popularity or “cool” is an elusive, fickle thing and once people have it, they get attached to it.
Then when the “cool” goes away, some people will cling to it until it’s embarrassing.

Better to be who you are since “cool” comes and goes.

dpworkin's avatar

PS: My 12-year-old son Sam says that cool guys don’t watch explosions.

FutureMemory's avatar

The last time I was described as “cool” I was in a position of power over others, yet didn’t abuse that power, indeed I went out of my way to treat them fairly and remain personable to each one even if it meant personal sacrifice on my part.

“You’re known (among the rank and file) as the cool supervisor”

wundayatta's avatar

@judochop I find it interesting that you think coolness is something innate, like having blue eyes or something. Well, I don’t just find it interesting; I find it astonishing. I can’t imagine how it would be something you were born with.

I suppose if you were… or if we were born either cool or not, then a lot of pressure would be taken off our shoulders. We have it or we don’t. Nothing to really think about, after that.

I don’t buy it. If that were the case, then people wouldn’t be constantly seeking coolness. I always knew that would be a losing game for me, so I never played. I think in my secret wish place, I would have liked to be cool if somehow I could have found a way to do it, but I was always too much out of it to even be able to make a try. You can not believe how clueless I was, as a youth, socially speaking. I think that remains with me to this day. I just don’t _get_it, whatever it is.

So I don’t even try. If I ever end up being cool, it will be because coolness came to me, not because I went to it. Alas! I’ve always thought that being cool would be an awesome experience, but I’m not exactly sure why. I guess I see being cool as the same thing as being popular.

Are they the same? Or are they different?

El_Cadejo's avatar

Too me, being cool is being yourself and not afraid of being who you are.

thats why im fucking awesome :P

troubleinharlem's avatar

I’ve always felt like being cool depends on the insider’s opinion of what cool is. Besides, who cares if they don’t think so? If they don’t think you’re cool for who you are, they aren’t worth your time anyway.

Clair's avatar

I agree with @judochop, I think it is something you’re born with. All the “cool” people I know didn’t acquire it, they just always had it. Even if they thought it came and went. And in response to @daloon‘s confusion…
I find it interesting that you think coolness is something innate, like having blue eyes or something. I don’t buy it. If that were the case, then people wouldn’t be constantly seeking coolness.
People do always look for “new eye color” or hair color or whatever you want to use as an example. That’s why colored contacts and hair dye were invented.
Coolness is a fickle thing. It’s some weird social term for being ‘interesting’ and ‘fun.’ I view being ‘cool’ as quite a few different things. Independence, adventurous, fun, funny, laid back, odd, outspoken but polite, moral but not conventional, open-minded and with enough self esteem to be comfortable with themselves. So needless to say not as many people make my “cool book” as probably make others’.
I’m pretty sure I’ve always been ‘cool.’ If not in the past, I know I am now. (God, I hate saying that.) I’ve never tried at it. I can get pretty much anything I want within reason. I can talk to a complete stranger and not be regarded as some loser who tried to make small talk. I usually seem to hit it off with everybody. It was a status thing in high school and now that it doesn’t matter anymore, I have a lot more fun with it. When I don’t ‘have to have it,’ I enjoy it and meet a lot of other people who don’t need it and we sit and wipe our asses with cool. We’re just people now.

DarkScribe's avatar

Being truly cool is doing what you want, because you want to do it, without regard for the opinions of any other person. Cool people don’t try to impress.

Blondesjon's avatar

@uberbatman . . .I think you’ve achieved Frikkin Awesome and are well on your way to fucking awesome. . .enjoy the trip.

El_Cadejo's avatar

you too sir, you too :)

Clair's avatar

@DarkScribe Wow, if only I had have thought of that, I could have saved typing all that crap..Sheesh, You’re so cool..

IHateChunkyPies's avatar

I asked a question like this recently. (I’m going to use school as an example. I’m in grade 9 by the way) For me, being “cool” or popular really lets me enjoy school. It get’s you “out there.” People really listen to you. Many people have such a hard time during school and they are usually the people that study hard and end up being very successful. The thing is, I don’t understand why people can’t be both.

“Coolness” doesn’t really mean much to me. It all depends on what we define as cool. Anything else is not, (which I don’t agree with) but when your cool, you meet lots of people, have lots of friends, you can express you opinions without worrying what others will think and you just have fun. This is why I like being “cool’ or popular.

People should all really wake up and realize that it doesn’t really matter what your “coolness scale” is but kids these days.. sometimes I wonder what a world we live in.

@DarkScribe Very True

DarkScribe's avatar

@Clair DarkScribe Wow, if only I had have thought of that, I could have saved typing all that crap..Sheesh, You’re so cool..

That’s ok, it’s cool… ;)

wundayatta's avatar

Yup. All the cool people gather round and slap each other’s backs, just confirming how cool they think they are.

Have fun. When you’re ready to have a serious discussion, I’ll be over there——>

dannyc's avatar

None, as it usually is inversely proportional to intelligence.

aphilotus's avatar

You are your own cool.

Back in the day, true nobility distinguished itself from social climbers because they were not striving- they had already arrived.

Cultivate the sense of being cool- you are already cool. Coolness will stem from this knowledge-of-one’s-own-coolness.

Blondesjon's avatar

Back in the day True Nobility was infamous for severely interbred.

buster's avatar

Im cool just because I have been skateboarding 15 years and im 27. Nothing makes you look cooler than holding a skateboard and smoking a cigarette. If you have a bad reputation you will be a big sensation. Being cool versus being a square or asshole will always get you ahead. If your cool people will like you and the more friends you have the better. A lot of my friends are scumbag punks and unemployed skaters. Ive been the same way. I have a pretty decent job. I am the friend that takes care of all his other friends. I buy boys food, beer, and share other things with them all the time. I don’t expect nothing in return. Ive been broke jobless homeless hungry. I dont sweat money. I can make more every day. Im cool because I take care of my friends and family.

andrew's avatar

The seldom spoken dark side of cool, though, is douche—and many times if you delve deeper into coolness, you realize—there’s nothing underneath but a big bag of douche.

dpworkin's avatar

@buster I love to watch younger guys skateboard. My son is 26, and he’s pretty talented. But if I saw him with a cigarette I would think he was a moron. Why would a natural athlete do that to his body? I’m so pleased he’s not as cool as you.

buster's avatar

Actually i quit smoking cigs in april. i smoked from 13 to 27 started mountain biking and i can tell a big difference. that sentence was actually a quote i read in Thrasher magazine.

dpworkin's avatar

What else was a quote?

buster's avatar

if you have a bad reputation youll be a big sensation. by theband fleming and john

Darwin's avatar

For every person who thinks I am cool, there are two that don’t. As @rooeytoo says, dogs think their people are cool, and that’s enough for me.

BTW, I have teenagers so I am definitely not cool in their eyes.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@Darwin it’s cool if your dog thinks you are cool, it is also cool that your teenagers DON’T think you are cool. That way, you can enjoy yourself by embarrassing them.

@DarkScribe your answer is the best there is, regarding cool. GA a thousand times for that. next question please.

Darwin's avatar

@Psychedelic_Zebra – I definitely get enjoyment out of embarrassing them, especially in the grocery store.

Oh, Mom!

zephyr826's avatar

I feel like coolness helps very little, as most of the people I know who are cool are constantly worrying about how to stay there. I had the opportunity to be cool once in my life, and I made the conscious decision not to do it (mostly do to what @andrew mentioned). Now apparently, my students think I’m cool, but I believe that they are sadly mistaken.

Axemusica's avatar

Before I go back and read the responses…

I think being cool and all a ratio between people opinions, interests and well rounded humbleness, I.E. charisma.

I’ve always been the out going nice guy that always had something funny to say. I’m usually accepted in any crowd. I’ve even been to quite a few mexican family gatherings and never questioned why I was there. I just merely inquire where the beer is and just enjoyed myself, lol.

Oddly, I never thought of myself as cool in school, but as I think back everyone once in a while, in my memory it seems like I was. I never got laid much, but everyone knew me, even if I didn’t know them. I never had any enemies and everyone was always nice to me. I never got in any fights, well in anything higher than elementary school, lol.

Now’a’days people are always surprised when they meet me, cuz they weren’t expecting such a pleasant, funny and entertaining person. On a more serious note, I do get scientific on people sometimes and it throws them for a loop, but they never lose interest.

dpworkin's avatar

I think I may be in love.

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