Sunday, July 13, 2014

Social Scene

Even if you didn't have the example of the forever nerdy Bill Gates before you, common sense will tell you what your parents told you -- that being "cool" isn't everything.

And now a research project from the University of Virginia says the same thing. The project observed and interviewed a group of young people at age 13 and then again in their 20s. Many of the kids who showed edgy behavior and earned approval from their peers as "cool" when they were 13 had a tougher time of things when they were older.

That, says a researcher, is because the kind of behavior that garners approval from one's teen peers is often dumb and not held in anything like high esteem when exhibited as an adult. Dean Wormer echoes this idea when he tells Flounder, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Another reason is that people who base their own life on receiving such superficial approval have a harder time actually interacting with folks when the time in life comes to do that. "Wow, they're cool! They do what they want and don't care what anyone thinks!" becomes, "Wow, what jerks! They do what they want and don't care what anyone thinks."

Greg Gutfeld's most recent book explores the same idea, with the additional point that living life like one was in high school -- when cool may have mattered the most -- is kind of dumb in the 60-plus years one has following high school.

Or it could be that all of the people who wrote up the study were nerds who fibbed to make up for the fact that they aren't cool. You never know.

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