My older brother Evan is one of my favorite people on the planet.
He is the yin to my yang: brilliant at math and science (with a law degree to boot), super analytical and sardonic. Those who know him well know he is the one who will say something deadpan witty that you will still be laughing about hours later.
He is also a father of two boys under the age of 3 who spends more time with Thomas the Tank Engine than Twitter these days.
So it cracked me up on a recent trip to Atlanta when he leaned over at dinner and said, “What the hell are squad goals, anyway?” He’d heard the reference, he just didn’t quite get what it was supposed to mean.
I’m not really sure how it got started, but somewhere along the way, people started using #squadgoals to denote someone aspirational they would like to add to their crew of friends or something they would like to achieve as a group.
We’re probably too old to use it without it sounding embarrassing, but occasionally Ziva and I have the pleasure of meeting some really cool veteran journalists and will text each other #squadgoals — meaning, we think they would be fun to hang with or we’re just psyched to have met them.
Or if you see someone doing something cool that you admire or would like to emulate, you might send a picture of it to your friends labeled #squadgoals.
Virginia McLaurin, the sweet 106-year-old lady who was so happy to meet the President that she danced, would definitely earn the “squadgoals” hashtag.
I want to party with that lady.
I couldn’t resist sharing this New Yorker piece, which also contains a superior explanation of the #squadgoals phenomenon, courtesy of Slate:
“What are Squad Goals? People you want in your squad, or an idea your squad might come to embody, or simply a triumphal tag you affix to a picture of you and your pals looking glamorous.”
But then The New Yorker ups the ante by presenting a list of Frontier squad goals.
It’s a parody that perhaps only The Frontier staff can truly appreciate:
Coördinate our bonnets, so we will be recognizable in a large crowd of people fleeing severe drought.
Limit our social-media posts to good, relevant messages, such as ones reassuring relatives that we have arrived at the next step of our journey without fatal accident.
Contact loved ones to say how much they mean to us before we depart for a vague location that we have never seen and have no direct evidence exists.
They’re witty, those New Yorker writers.
Kind of like my big brother. Who is also on my #squadgoals, in case you were wondering.