Some would say we're living in a golden age of awkwardness. We recognize it in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, and Silicon Valley. It's in Buzzfeed gif-ticles, and those old reruns of Seinfeld. Let's not forget Holden Caulfield, Owen Meany and Winnie the Pooh.
We laugh at awkwardness even as we cringe in its presence. It's funny and benign until it's not - when the fear of "making it weird" becomes a stronger impulse than the pain of doing what we don't want to do.
We had a hard time in the newsroom defining awkwardness and how it differed from say, embarrassment. We'll talk about that. We also talk to someone who offers advice on how to deal with awkward moments and a scientist who says some people are chronically awkward, different from people who suffer the occasional awkward experience.
- Ty Tashiro - Psychiatrist and the author of two books, most recently, Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome.
- Jennifer Peepas - Writer, director, film instructor in Chicago. She’s the founder of Captain Awkward, a blog on how to deal with awkwardness.
- Megan Garber - Reports on culture for The Atlantic.
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show