This year, people born in the year 1985 will turn 26 years old. They will get married, have kids, buy houses, and do all the other roots-planting stuff that people do when their 20s are 60 percent over. (They might also go out drinking a lot.) They will find it strange that their 10-year high school reunions are only two years away. (Though only in a marking-time sense; they won’t actually attend their reunions, because Facebook has turned high-school reunions into conventions of old-timey 20th-century life.) They will feel a strong twinge of nostalgia for the early ’00s, and trade lines from Napoleon Dynamite and Anchorman like their bosses at work drop references to—excuse them if they get these titles wrong—Ghostbusters and Caddyshack.
They are all grown up, but I’ll never see them that way. To me, anyone born the year that Back To The Future came out will always be The People That Are Too Young. I’m not sure when I decided that Michael J. Fox’s entrée to movie stardom was my personal Mendoza line for parsing out the generations. I acknowledge the inherent unreasonableness of my “Back To The Future Rule,” but I’ve been following it too long to stop now. I’m constitutionally unable to take people raised on Stars Wars prequels, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and MTV reality shows seriously, seeing as how they’ve been deprived of the bedrock values and education that you get from the original Star Wars films, the original Degrassi Junior High, and music videos—that’s right, music videos—on MTV.
This year, I will turn 26. I will not (I don’t think?) be getting married, having kids, buying houses… but every day on Facebook, I’ll see friends from college and high school do this (nearly every day it’s a new update like this).
Instead of settling down, I’ll see the world. And, perhaps, figure out how to transfer 401Ks from old employers into a joint, self-managed account. That’s about as much growing up as I’m planning for my 26th year. How about you?
“If you read an article that describes young Chinese’s consumption power, or the fact that these youth have ‘grown up only knowing prosperity’, remember that like in every country, the Have versus Have-Nots is a reality. In China this fact is hyper inflated. Do Chinese youth drive expensive Italian sports cars and buy luxury brands? Yes. Does this segment of the Chinese youth make up a very tiny small percentage of the whole group? Yes. While the large majority of young Chinese have indeed experienced prosperity for much of their lives, the term ‘prosperity’ takes on a different meaning for different Chinese youth. To some prosperity means having more than one set of clothing. To others it means owning their first digital mobile phone. To others it means buying a separate apartment for their dog. When the media is telling you Chinese youth have consumption power, put it into context and think of an upside-down funnel. Which part of the funnel are they talking about? Because it certainly isn’t the whole thing.”—
-From a great post from Kevin Lee of China Youthology