Quit being awkward

Story by Martha Landry, News Editor

Oh shoot. It’s that girl from my class, sophomore year … I haven’t talked to her in a few months. Should I say hi? No, definitely not. Or should I? Oh gosh she is getting closer. I’ll just fake a text. Phew. Problem solved.

Don’t lie. Every single person reading this has had that exact thought process and awkward exchange and it is the most ridiculous thing ever. Come on people, what happened to saying hello to people you know?

According to an article in USA TODAY, Generation “Zers”, the generation with addiction to technology and being in constant communication, like to always to be connecting with people who are similar to us, but mostly with social media.

“Generation Zers like to connect with others who share their interests and are doing the same things (through social media primarily),” the article said.

Through social media primarily … that is the problem. Everyone is totally fine with being crazy creepy online, sending friend requests to people you hardly know (or don’t know at all!!) but we can’t do the same when we are actually with each other.
I’m sick of the lack of exchange on campus so I’m laying down the law. Hold on to your hats, things are going to get awkward.

1. Facebook friends

Seriously. If you know them well enough to share your entire online world with a person, you should be able to have a quick small-talk conversation with them. Think about it. How much information about yourself do you share online that you wouldn’t disclose to a stranger otherwise.  Your likes, your dislikes, your best friends, your family members, your day to day plans … If you feel comfortable sharing that information, just suck it up and say hello!

2. Classmates (current or ex)

You know you awkwardly recognize people all the time from past classes.  Avoiding them is so much more awkward and takes more effort than just acknowledging them.  If you know who they are, chances are they know who you are too.  Even if they don’t, when has it ever made your day worse when a stranger gives you a smile or a random hello? Never.

Even if they aren’t your friends and you don’t plan on making pals with them, it never hurts to have a few more acquaintances that you can use as a connection someday.  Don’t burn your bridges if you don’t have to.

3. Professors

Professors on campus may not know who you are, but chances are they would recognize your face.  Again, chances are that you will have a class with them again.  I have a professor that I had freshman year and I really didn’t like him so I stopped saying hello to him the second I was done with that class.  Now, every time I see him I have to act like I have no idea who he is.  It was a class of 25-ish people.  He knows who I am and I just make our exchanges so awkward.

Once again, it is better to salvage that potential network connection at the very least.

Alright gang, now really give this all some thought! One of my best friends loves to say “it’s only awkward if you make it awkward.” You can make saying hi to people awkward or you can make it a totally normal situation. If I know you, expect to me to be “awkward” and seek you out for a hello.

Watch out UW-Eau Claire students, campus is about to get crazy friendly.