Are you a hipster?

January 17, 2014


The fact that there’s an entire subculture that’s immersed in the mindless minutiae of social media astounds me.

Oh, you’re wondering what a hipster is?  There are a number of definitions in “official” internet sources, and they don’t all agree. Here’s what the Urban Dictionary says.

Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

It’s not the definition I’d have given.  I found this, too:


Umm…maybe not. But maybe.

Here’s WikiHow’s take:

Hipsters are people who enjoy clothing, music, food and activities outside of the social mainstream. If you want to embrace a lifestyle of independent music labels, vintage clothes, and artisanal coffee, read the guide below.

And here’s what Wikipedia, the LEAST reliable source in the world* but the one everyone uses, says:

a postmodern subculture of young, urban middle-class adults and older teenagers that first appeared in the 1990s and became particularly prominent in the 2010s,[1] being derived from earlier movements in the 1940s. The subculture is associated with indie music and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store clothes), progressive or independent political views,[2][3] and alternativ

I mean, seriously?

But really, this post isn’t about hipsters. It’s about how social media have impacted culture.

2013-12-18 16.35.18

I see shorter attention spans, devotion to insignificant details (like instagram filter effects), narcissism…

How about you….in your opinion, how have social media impacted culture? For the better or not?

*shocked at how many people (and especially college students) don’t realize Wikipedia is user-generated content that is completely unreliable as a source.  No  one vets this stuff. It might be true. Or it might not be at all true.

8 comments on “Are you a hipster?
  1. sandra tyler says:

    Really? It is unreliable? lol. Seriously, good post. I’m sucked into social media strictly to pimp myself and the Press; otherwise, I don’t waste a lot of time taking pics of myself, know nothing about instagram and skim FB. But then again I’m not 20-something:)

  2. Susan Adcox says:

    I’m old and smart and I adore Wikipedia. Of course I would not use it for academic purposes. Wikpedia tells you not to do that right on its own site. But it’s great for learning information quickly, and the references and external links listed at the bottom are handy for further research. (The hipster piece that you pooh-pooh has links to the NYT and other reputable sources.) The “wiki” nature of the site means that, yes, fallacious information can be entered, but most of the time someone quickly corrects it. I think of Wikipedia as being the World Book Encyclopedia of our time. My teachers used to look down their noses at World Book, too, but it was absolutely invaluable for our family. Almost every family dinner involved someone jumping up to look up something in the World Book. Sometimes you don’t need a scholarly discourse; you just need an answer.

    • admin says:

      EVERYONE had those encyclopedias, we had one, too. But, it was vetted. Unlike Wiki, which is not. Actually, I had more than one client find errors & try to get corrected info on their Wikipedia page and have problems. It’s not quite as straightforward as we’d hope to correct it. Playing fast and loose with facts is worrisome to me, but I realize not everyone has that same opinion. Vive la difference!

  3. I think we might as well get used to it. I don’t see social media going away any time soon–so if you can’t beat ’em join ’em is my perspective. Of course I do resist authority so maybe I’m just a hipster at heart regardless of my age!

  4. John Soares says:

    Hi Carol. Here’s the comment I left on your Google+ share:

    “I use Wikipedia a lot. However, for any crucial fact I need for a writing piece or for work, I make sure to double-check with a reputable source. Many facts in Wikipedia are footnoted.”

    I agree that Wikipedia can have errors, and that is definitely a problem. However, I’ve found that much of what I read, and already know a lot about, is true. There’s also a discussion about every article that we can read. Often people will point out problems there.

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