5 Things That Don’t Make You Cool


1. Designer Clothing

I think it was last month that Kanye West and A.P.C. came out with a $120 plain White cotton, crew neck T-shirt. The price is not even as ridiculous as discovering that it was sold out almost immediately. Designer clothes can be great. I love DVF, Chanel, Versace, and all the rest of them. (Even though almost everything I own of theirs has been a gift because I’m not stupid, rich, or crazy.) But ultimately, wearing labels doesn’t make you any more special or fashionable than someone who shops their local designers or resale and thrift stores. And as someone who loves resale stores and lesser-known designers, I think they’re a really great way to find and develop your own sense of style. And you can do it without paying an arm and a leg or getting yourself into credit card debt.

2. Not Being “Into” Social Media

I’d be the first person to high-five you if you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest of them. Personally, I believe that people spend way too much time on these platforms rather than going about living their lives. But not being on it or rarely ever being on it, doesn’t inherently make you a more incredible human being. There is a certain segment of the population that believes being off social media entitles them to more cookies than the rest of us. It doesn’t. I encourage having a healthy relationship with social media: not spending more time on it than necessary and not defining your life by it. But using it to communicate and share useful and fun information and ideas. And if you’re not into it, that’s fine. But you’re not a special human being because of that.

3. Being Popular On Social Media/The Internet

At the other end of the spectrum of people who think they’re cool because they’re not into social media, are people who think they’re cool because of their popularity on social media. Whether it’s your number of Facebook friends or Twitter or Instagram followers or the number of people subscribing to your personal blog – it actually doesn’t make you an awesome human being. It means that people like or sometimes dislike what you have to say, or who they think you are. And sure it’s nice to have tons of people who you can reach out to or who reach out to you on the world wide web. But you know what actually counts? The people you can call at three in the morning, and the people who would call you then. How many people do you have like that?

4. Your Relationship Status

Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married, or forever alone, etc. your relationship status doesn’t really say a lot about you. It doesn’t say whether you’re the kind of person someone wants to grab a beer with, or whether you’re a reliable friend, or a good person. Although society largely has a bias against single people judging by questions/statements such as: “Why are you single?” “What is wrong with you? There must be something wrong!” “Are you putting yourself out there?” The reality is people in relationships especially if they choose to make it legally official in their twenties, also face snide remarks and snickers from peers who think they are wasting their youth. Or don’t know any better. Or something. The only thing I’m interested in knowing about your relationship status is this: How comfortable are you with it?

5. Travelling

I never thought I’d be writing this one down because I think travelling is one of the most important things a person should want to undertake. The world is REALLY big (and really small) and only knowing your corner of it seems like such a deprivation. If I could give 5000 quid to everyone to travel annually, I would. (And yes, that includes myself.) And I have had the privilege of doing some travelling. However, there are people who believe travelling makes them so much more sophisticated than the general population. Combined, I’d say my family has probably touched maybe 35, 40 percent of the world. Maybe. But I can honestly say none of us are cooler because of it. Maybe we’re more understanding of how big and different, and yet how small and the same the world is – but that’s about it. Travel if you can and learn something when you do. But you’re not an exceptional person because of it.

So you’re probably thinking: What does make someone cool? Well, I don’t really know what’s cool these days. I’ll call my thirteen year-old sister later and ask her. But I suspect it might be things like this: Being comfortable in your own skin, confident in who you are and who you want to become; challenging yourself in all the areas of your life, and going above and beyond for others in work and play. And if you have a great sense of humor to top it off, I’d say you’re pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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