When it’s not cool to be ‘cool’

Julia Proverbs | Account Manager Social Media, Trends

According to my kids, I am cool. But it’s not ‘cool’ as us Gen Xers might know it.

It seems there’s an acronym for everything these days and when someone under the age of 20 calls you ‘cool’, it’s not a compliment.

Apparently, as I have been recently informed, ‘COOL’ stands for Constipated Overrated Old Lady. Or, if you want to be gender-neutral, Constipated Overrated Out-Of-Style Loser. 

Either way, it’s safe to say I no longer strive to be a cool mum.

Keeping up with acronyms is one thing, but staying abreast of the changing social media landscape is another game entirely.

A new Pew Research Centre survey has found that teens are abandoning text-based forms of social media such as Facebook in favour of photo and video services like YouTube and Snapchat.

According to the survey, just 51% of U.S. teens aged 13 to 17 use Facebook, compared to 71% three years ago.

YouTube came in first overall, with 85% of the teens surveyed using it, followed by Instagram (72%) and Snapchat (69%).

While Pew doesn’t speculate on the reasons why teens are shifting their social media habits, it does note that lower-income teens are more likely to use Facebook and more often than their more well-off counterparts.

The survey also found that 95% of this age group has some kind of access to a device, compared to 73% in 2015. And 45% of teens said they were online on a near-constant basis.

While it may be easy to dismiss teenagers’ social media habits as frivolous, as digital natives they are a tech savvy generation, whose lead we will be following in the future.

As they become conscious consumers, we need to make sure we are not only keeping up with, but also speaking their language.

It’s time to take back cool.

I’m aiming for Connected Online Octogenarian Lady. (It’s a long term plan, obviously.)