Memes I Hate: “That Awkward Moment…”

http://thatawkwardmoment.net/  <– F U!!!!

Ok, there are SEVERAL examples on the entire Internets I’ve ever seen of someone correctly using the “That Awkward Moment When…” meme.

The idea of it is to make a quick, snappy one liner, pointing out an awkward situation so people can cringe at the awkwardness and perhaps have a little giggle too.

So far, I have only reached the cringing part… Cringing at people’s lack of an understanding of what awkward is.

Here’s a few things that aren’t awkward:

It’s NOT awkward when you do something stupid and are just a stupid, clumsy, clutzy person.  That is not inherently awkward.  IT CAN BE AWKWARD, if for example, your clumsiness happens to lead to the tipping over of a coffin at a funeral, spilling the dead body on to the floor, with the whole family watching.  NOW THAT’S AWKWARD.

But, if you lose your goddamn keys and can’t get in the house.  NOT FUCKING AWKWARD.  Do you know what that is?  You’re a dumb arse.

We could really replace most “That Awkward Moment” memes with, “I was a dumbarse, and I…”

But then you’d have to realise that… you’re a dumbarse, and it’s not awkward.

Here’s some examples of things that aren’t awkward, that have used that meme on Facebook.

That Awkward Moment When No One Wins the Grand Final

That Awkward Moment When Julia Gillard Takes Your Job

That Awkward Moment In 2013 When Everyone Is Still Alive

That Awkward Moment in Subway When Your Sub Is Being Toasted

At this point, I’d like to point out a few things:

Awkward

1. Lacking skill or dexterity; clumsy.
2. Lacking grace or ease in movement: an awkward gesture; an awkward dancer.
3. Lacking social graces or manners: a simple, awkward frontiersman.
4. Not well planned or designed for easy or effective use: an awkward instrument; an awkward method.
5. Requiring caution; somewhat hazardous; dangerous: an awkward turn in the road.
6. Hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill, tact, or the like: an awkward situation; an awkward customer.
7. Embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace: an awkward moment
8. Obsolete . untoward; perverse.
This is how to use the word AWKWARD as an adjective, to describe something.  So, someone may have awkwardly fell over, or someone might’ve awkwardly dropped their keys down the side of the car.  This describes a situation whereby something has happened in an awkward manner, ie. unskillfully, not very well managed etc.
Now, when we are speaking of an awkward moment, we are entering into a subjective shared realm.
An awkward moment would therefore require further description of WHAT makes someone FEEL awkward during a situation, otherwise, it’s not really an awkward moment, but merely someone doing something awkwardly, which is an entirely different sentence.
Here, let me demonstrate:
That Awkward Moment in Subway When Your Sub Is Being Toasted = I tend to feel easily socially uncomfortable in retail situations whereby I am to wait for my product to be delivered, but both myself and the retail assistant are not actually participating in any activity, such as during the 30 or so seconds it takes for a Sub to be toasted at a Subway, when it is not too busy, and they aren’t doing anything else.  I feel awkward because I’m not sure if I should strike up small talk, perhaps?  I’m not very good at it, and they kind of look vaguely cranky.  What if I say something and they just shrug me off?  I can’t deal with that kind of rehection.
THERE.  MEME FIXED.
Also, unfunny, BUT at least someone explained why they feel awkward, rather than just presuming that everyone has the same social inadequacies as themselves.
The point is, when we are talking about such subjective things as the way we FEEL about something, further explanation is usually required.  The idea of a meme is to hold some cultural significance, and therefore be a far reaching in-joke, not to point out someone’s own insecurities as if everyone feels the same way.  Because we don’t.
That awkward moment when someone makes it known to everyone via a Facebook status update that they are a social retard and can’t deal with simple situations.
^^Mine is wrong, by the way, if only taken within the context of the above paragraph, but given my further explanation in this blog, I think it’s relevent.
Here’s a few examples of good “That Awkward Moment” memes:
That Awkward Moment When A Fat Person Says “I’m Fat”
That Awkward Moment When Someone Says “Hi” and You Say “Yeah, Good”
That Awkward Moment When You Say Goodbye and Both Walk The Same Way
That Awkward Moment When The Room Goes Quiet And You’re Talking Really Loudly About Something Embarassing
And I even think the above noted, although far more relatable to most people, are still lacking in a further explanation.  ie. If a friend of yours is the “fat” person, and they say that, it may not be awkward at all, but could be the complete opposite.
The misuse of this term reminds me of Alanis Morisette’s atrocity, “Ironic”
I won’t go too far into it, but Alanis misses the fact that the difference between an ironic situation and one that’s just plain unfortunate, is a twist related to the circumstance that changes it from just a shitty circumstance, to something quite ironic, ie. “An old man turned ninety-eight, He won the lottery and died the next day”, That’s just plain unfortunate.  However, if he hadn’t had much money at all, was in relative good health other than one main big, fixable problem that could be terminal, but couldn’t afford the hospital fees to have it fixed, THEN won the money, booked his appointment for 2 days in advance and died a day before.. well, that’d be closer to irony…
The clincher is, there are many words that describe very subjective or circumstantial situations.  Writers use these words so they can describe far more complex interpersonal relationships and situational effects.
I’m all for the shortening of things and I love a good joke, but when someone just completely misses the innate complexity of something, simplifies it just to feel part of the pack… Well, that’s just annoying.
I wanted to go into a rant about levels of shared consciousness here.. but I, like.. always fucking do that.  So, fuck it.
In Lak’ech Ala K’in
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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jesus
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 05:58:35

    Thanks you so, so much.

    Reply

  2. Poseidon
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 13:15:12

    This stupid saying is hardly a meme. It was forced on people by a pseudo fml site.
    It’s not funny, it’s not creative, and people who use this should be shot.

    Reply

  3. Heather Erickson
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 09:31:13

    THANK YOU! I freaking hate that “meme”. Super annoying.

    Reply

  4. Markus
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 02:39:21

    Word

    Reply

  5. Edna
    Jan 09, 2015 @ 07:06:48

    That awkward moment when you say “loose” when you meant “lose”: “But, if you loose your goddamn keys and can’t get in the house. ”
    There is something hilarious about someone going off about something like this when they don’t even know how to spell.

    Reply

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