February 17, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle
February 18, 2014
WHAT IS “COOL”?
by Amir E.
Finding what cool means is not an easy task, because it requires more of a feeling than just a distinct definition; it is one of those ‘know it when you see it’ things. If we were to ask people about their definition of cool, they will likely use terms like “confident” and “popular,” and, less frequently, “aloof” and “calm”, which leads us to the conclusion that while coolness is not necessarily easy to define, people recognize it when they see it, and that is where media kicks in. In my opinion, cool is just an ideology that is promoted by the media through movies and TV series, advertisement, and social media websites.
The show business plays a significant role in promoting the idea of coolness using the characters in movies and TV series. Most of the time, any movie or TV show involve an unreal-istically awesome character that makes you wish to be like it. For example, Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, Don Draper in Mad Men, Tyler Durden in Fight Club, Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, and James Bond. These characters have a lot of traits in common that the media promote as the ideology of what is cool. As we can see, these characters are all wom-anizers, heavy alcohol drinker, rebellious, and they are all smokers, which is what the “show business” wants us to think is cool, they want us to think that cool people should drink, they should smoke, and they should be womanizers.
Advertisement is also one of the key media contributions in defining what is cool. When we watch a company’s ad on TV for a certain product, we find that this ad represents the compa-ny’s ideology of cool, as they always try to convince people that their product is the best out there, the newest, and the coolest, this way people will be eager to buy this products to be cool. Let’s take Apple’s ads for example, their ads always involve people doing crazy and cool stuff using their products, like someone who is using his iPad to take a picture in front of a waterfall, someone creating animated movie on his mac, or even some people shooting the whole ad with their iPhones! When people see these ads, they get this idea that these products are their gate to do cool things, and that these are the products that cool and innovative people use.
Social media is also one of the most significant ways of defining what is cool among teenager. These website present the trends and fads that become mainstream, and thus leading people into thinking that doing these things is cool, like the Harlem Shake videos last year. Right now, there is a new trend called Neknomination, which is some kind of an online drinking game that led to the death of 4 people till now, but because social media presented it as being a cool trend that is mainstream, people continue to do it regardless of the fact that it killed four people!
In conclusion, “Cool” is not something that can be easily defined, but it definitely differs from one person to the other. You don’t need to be a womanizer, drinker, and smoker, just to be cool. You don’t need to buy a product that people use to do cool things, just to be cool. You don’t need to follow the mainstream trends on social websites, regardless of how they can harm you, Just to be cool.
To be cool, you just need to be yourself, and realize that “COOL” is just a mere ideology that is being advertised and promoted to us by the media.