Friday, November 4, 2011

Welcome to Dorkville

What happens to kids to turn them into such dorks?  It seems like at a certain age they just start spontaneously acting dippy.  My kids started a couple years ago, but now it's goofball central around here.  They say weird things like "Boom!", meaning, "I told you so."  And doing all these gestures like they think they're all gangsta.  What's with the upside down peace symbol every time someone points a camera at you?

I think I'm very old, and I certainly have nerd tendencies.  But this is some strange phase I think all kids go through.  I remember when my nephews started acting all dorky.  Thankfully, they've grown out of it for the most part.  But I remember shooting my brother looks like, "you must be so proud" when his boys would act dippy, and he would just roll his eyes.  I'm so there now.

I remember when I was kid, and I actually remember some of my dork phase.  Unfortunately, my phase was very long, and sometimes I think I'm still going through it.  Remember how we used to make that stupid gesture in front of our face and say "face!" or even worse, "face your case!"  Ugh.  That was supposed to mean "I told you!"  How about saying "gag me with a spoon" or "righteous"?  Hubby says that sometimes they would say, "jackson!" to mean cool.  How goofy were we?

I think when we are between the ages of 9 and 13, we're just learning about the importance of being cool.  And following trends.  And since we're not mature enough to make good decisions for ourselves, we follow the crowd no matter what.  I don't remember hearing the expressions I used as a kid for the first time, I just remember using them.  I'm sure they came from school, but how they originated is beyond me.  Especially since a lot of the goofy words we used seemed almost universal.  We would go to other states on vacation, and the kids there used the same stupid phrases.  Now it seems like a lot of the things kids say come from iCarly or other Nickelodeon or Disney XD channels.  I'm sure it's all harmless.

When I was that age I was watching The Facts of Life and Dif'rent Strokes.  Nickelodeon was in its infancy, and pretty much only aired "You Can't Do That on Television" and "Turkey TV."  I don't remember expressions from those shows, but I don't think that's where "tubular" came from.  I think that's a surfing word, and I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the most part.  Now they have a huge range of tweener shows to watch.  And some of them are actually pretty funny.  I have to admit I'm a fan of iCarly, and I liked Drake and Josh.

At least our kids have more options.  In the late 70's and early 80's, pop culture was a pretty small world.  We had early MTV, which was huge, but not that many popular bands.  There was a fraction of the tv channels that we have now.  Fashion trends were very specific.  You had to have a certain kind of jeans.  A certain kind of tennis shoes.  Your hair had better feather correctly.  We all watched the same stuff, listened to the same kinds of music.

Here's a strange observation:  Technology has made the world a much smaller place, but yet made pop culture so much more vast.  It's nice how now it seems like there isn't one particular "cool" kind of music.  There is so much access to so many different kinds of music, that the variety is endless.  The top 40 is almost pointless now.  And there is so much good television for all ages, both for entertainment and for information.  So now when there's a dorky trend it spreads crazy fast, and it seems to fade just as fast.  As a parent, it's impossible to keep up.

So I just roll my eyes a lot and wait for this one to pass.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you put it. It is very true. At that age they are just figuring it out and trying so very hard. What I love is that they are also totally comfortable with it. They truly believe they are being cool and so in a way they are. And the older cousins look at them like - your a dork, but I get it.

    You make me think about the phases of growing up and how in many ways its just like it was for us yet totally different. Like now ... I love my kids right now (well, I always do, but this stage is awesome). They are funny, smart, witty, we enjoy good things together, we can joke around, we can joke around with their friends, they like being home and I think they like hanging out w/ me (for the most part.) I don't remember this relationship with my parents. Not at this age. The rents just didn't get it. Why do we? (or maybe we don't and they are just being nice. Which is fine, I'll take it.)