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Why "What's Up?" Is The Most Awkward Question In Existence

"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it."

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I mean, this is not AIM in 1999. Times are just not as simple (sadly).

Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

You can't just ask "What's up?" and expect a simple jokey response that doesn't have to lead the conversation anywhere. This is the real, adult world, people!

(Also, just some random info: those were two actual screen names I used to have, because I have always played the game of instant messenger very, very Cool.)

I have, though, on at least one occasion, been so uncomfortable with "What's up?" that I have *actually* responded with "N2M" in real life.


So what are your realistic response options, then?

Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

All of these run through my mind the second someone casually directs that wretched inquiry my way. These are all bad options. What IS up? Is this a rhetorical question? Do I just smile and nod and walk away? Are we done here? I can't even tell them how I'm doing, because they technically didn't ask, and "Good" literally is not an appropriate answer to that question.

After refusing to put up with the pressure of these situations any longer, I've been forced to come up with a workaround.

Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

It's still not great, and you still have to say "not much," BUT this helps because it turns it into a "How are you?" question, which it should have been in the first place, giving you back your power in the saddest way possible (short of walking away, sweating and crying).

However, saying "Not much" or "Nothing much" just generally doesn't sound great.

Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

It kind of makes it sound like you have no life. This is coming from a chronic overthinker, but still. I don't like it, so we're back to square one.