(VICE) To be clear, “how are you?” is kind of a bad way to check in on a friend at any time, not just during a global crisis, when no one is really doing all that great. It’s one of those “things” people say reflexively, like “gesundheit!” after a sneeze, or “excuse me” upon bumping into someone (haha, remember bumping into someone?). It’s maybe only useful in a setting like a big concert, where the only response is cheers, or in a celebratory context, when you know the answer is going to be, “I’m great!” In normal times, the phrase is forgettable and rote; during a pandemic, it feels loaded and ominous. It’s also burdensome; we are all “at capacity” right now, so to speak.
“Vibe check?”, on the other hand, is gentler and also more fun. It doesn’t necessitate much inner reflection at all. That’s because a “vibe” isn’t one concrete thing, as vibes transcend meaning. That works in “Vibe check?”’s favor; it’s up to the receiver to determine what constitutes the vibe.
My VIBES are in the garbage after reading this. I'm irrationally angry. Finding an answer to "Howahya?" in the middle of a pandemic is not impossible. It's the same as it's always been: "goodenu?" And yes I'm well aware you might not actually be "good", but we both know the point of this interaction was to merely acknowledge each other's existence. If you're ever actually concerned about a friend's welfare during quarantine a cliche yet effective "How you holding up?" will suffice. But please for the love of god refrain from ever hitting me with a "vibe check?" I was trying to figure out why I'm so triggered by it but then the article explained it for me:
If “How are you?” personified is a therapist in a dim room, sitting across from you in an ergonomic chair as they invite you to bare your soul, then “vibe check?” is a cool guy riding past on a skateboard into the sunset and hitting you with a shaka sign. Be the vibes you wish to see in the world; be a person who vibe checks.
First off, I'm sure many people these days wouldn't turn down the chance to sit in an ergonomic chair and talk to a therapist. Secondly, what makes you think the imagery of a "cool guy riding past on a skateboard hitting you with a shaka sign" is going to cheer someone up who's been stuck inside for the last two months?! Misery loves company. I want my friends to text me and tell me about how much their life sucks now. I'll actually feel better. What I don't want them doing is hitting me up with their best cali bro impression acting like everything is all groovy.
Everything is not groovy! Our pets heads our falling off! (figuratively). Hit me up with something funny, but don't you dare hit me up with something "fun". None of this is fun. And if you are having fun please keep it to yourself.
P.S. If you must know, I'm doing ok in the vibes department. Now fuck off!