Be cool guys, be cool! What exactly does it mean to be “cool” in 2023? Think about all the things that were considered cool at one point in history and are totally uncool today. Do you remember when having a chain the size of a dog leash attached to a wallet was beyond cool? Neither do I. Those people were always undeniably uncool. I think it’s fairly safe to say that at one time or another in the early stages of all of our lives we strove to be whatever our interpretation of being cool was. What is your definition of being cool? If you don’t know then I guess you could always just band a bunch of uncool people together that call themselves cool. That is afterall, how political parties rose to power in their weird white wigs. Fun fact: They wore those wigs back in the day because they all went bald from crippling cases of syphilis and guess what? They thought they looked SO cool!

Let me try to explain what my interpretation of being cool is. Probably one of the most obvious factors to this definition is age. While the younger crowd may have a chip on their shoulders about what's hip, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know anything about what’s cool. Some people say being cool isn’t “Name Brand” but how many people did you also know that thought they were walking on water in their brand new Yeezys before Kanye’s meltdown? It’s important to note that there’s subtle differences between what’s hip and what’s cool. While being hip depends on social trends of the times, being cool is subjective to each and every one of us. What’s considered hip changes like the wind. No literally, remember wind pants? Whether it’s skinny jeans, baggy pants, or our lord and savior JNCO jeans, it’s anyone's guess what type of trousers are going to be the hippest style next.

How about the times where it felt like the simple act of purposely not being cool was the coolest route of all? “I liked Kevin Hart before everyone else did, now he's sold out, he’s not cool anymore.” Have you ever met this person or worse, been this person? Chances are you thought a similar thought whether you said it out loud or not and either way, if you’re hopping on the bandwagon or hopping off, the take-away should be that being cool doesn’t always mean being popular. Need an example? Andrew Tate. Need another one? Cross country skiing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s without a doubt a super popular outdoor activity but objectively not cool. This, of course, is coming from me, who plays pickleball at least three times a week. While pickleball is very hip right now, do not be fooled folks: it is definitely not cool.

Some say being cool means to not care what others think about them but that tactic only works for people who are genuinely cool… like… Eminem or Oprah. There seems to be a lot of confusion with this theory. Although it worked for them, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still people out there who don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks that are unfortunately, and undoubtedly, not cool.

In the end, almost everyone is kind of cool in their own little ways — well not everyone. What I’m trying to say is that there are no shortcuts or cheat codes to being cool. It isn’t something you can easily learn by reading a book or watching a DIY Video on Youtube. In short, I believe that the only way to truly be cool is to run the risk of being not cool.