This is not awkward, but you are

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed our daily lives are getting more awkward? More and more situations and interactions are being linked to the phrase "this is awkward," and I can't figure out why. Either Hillsdale is letting in too many home-schoolers or the idea of awkwardness itself is being inflated.

I'm not worried about preserving the sanctity of an off-hand phrase, but rather, avoiding what I see as a societal trap being sprung, albeit unintentionally. I'm afraid we are developing people who are unable to face life in real-time.

We shouldn't be so quick to label every less-than-optimal interaction as awkward. What's wrong with awkwardity, anyway? The world we live in is not as sanitary and orderly as you might think. Life is not a TV show, and things happen you don't expect. Don't judge something because you don't know how to react to it – the unexpected is what makes life exciting.

If you find yourself consistently thinking about how awkward everything is, that's a problem. You should be continually learning from your environment, not focusing on what you wish wasn't your environment. It's all in how you react. When you realize it is an inadequate response to a potentially awkward situation that truly makes an experience awkward, situations have more possibilities. Simply blaming what you see as the culprit is a cop-out – it keeps you from thinking and therefore, from learning.

Through involvement in more than my share of awkwardness – I was home-schooled through 8th grade – I have come to appreciate it. I'm not one of those people who thrive off it, and I won't pretend that certain situations could be described as anything besides awkward. Seeing your dad cry or getting a misdirected text from a friend that says "The test came back negative!" would both qualify. All I'm saying is, what makes it the opposite party's fault when they don't act as you expect? Just take it in stride and respond...