I’m 31, but I can already tell that I sit outside of the “young and hip” demographic. The Top 40 sounds pretty alien to me and it’s taking an increasing amount of effort to keep up with trends. It’s disturbing how quickly you turn into a “know what I like and like what I know” kind of person.
But to be honest, I like the fact that I can just feel free to be myself without having to justify it to peer groups. Nobody my age that I know cares about trendiness anymore.
I’m 64 (Yeah, I know, "Will you still need me . . . ?)
Last spring my chorus did an “80s” concert, and for the first time I was basically unfamiliar with almost all the songs. Oh, I know Broadway from that decade, and classical . . . but by the time the 80s rolled around I had lost interest in pop music. Some of the younger guys in the chorus were amazed that I didn’t know about these songs: “Weren’t you alive during the 80s?” Well yeah, but I turned 40 in the middle of that decade, and I had two careers going.
And even after I learned the songs . . . I just don’t get them. If these were the best songs of that decade, I really didn’t miss much.
As far as technology is concerned, I stopped paying attention to every little thing about 10 years ago. I use what I need and disregard the rest. Sure I’ve got a cell phone, but it’s just a phone. I’ve got a great digital SLR camera, but no videos. I’ve got thousands of CDs downloaded into iTunes, and most of them on my iPod . . . and I’m happy to keep this configuration forever.
And I delude myself into thinking that my G5 Mac will never die.
I think the majority of people that constitute youth culture hate Twilight as much as anybody else. There’s a specific subset of that culture that is enamored with it but it’s a subject of derision for a lot of them. Sparkle! Seriously?
I didn’t often like what the kids were into when I was a kid. But now, at only age 40, things are definitely shifting even further, and I stand bamboozled by what’s going on beyond the borders of my personal, ever-shrinking, circle of interest.
I’m in much the same situation (28) and apparently not having Facebook/Twitter/an iPhone makes me some sort of nonconformist trail-blazer- as opposed to “someone who doesn’t need Facebook, Twitter, or an iPhone”.
On the balance, I’d rather be a nonconformist trail-blazer than an old fogey.
I don’t twitter, I don’t facebook, I don’t Ipod, I don’t watch network TV very much or anything like that, but I recently just absolutely fell into online roleplaying with MMORGs. (Not WoW. but the same sort of thing.) Damn. Damn. Damn. It’s the best thing ever. Puts movies, TV shows, books and the whole rest of the Internet (including Internet message boards) into perspective. There is no entertainment medium that’s remotely close to being as entertaining as roleplaying. Hell. How did I miss out on it for so long?
So, I dunno. Still learning I guess. Wondering what the hell else I am missing out on.
At 48, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that much popular culture simply isn’t intended for me. I don’t judge Twilight or Miley Cyrus 'cause I’m busy watching and listening to other stuff.
With comic books, a big problem is that the big publishers cater too much to their older readers, which actively blocks young readers from coming aboard. Dan Slott keeps referencing stories that were published over 30 years ago; this is not healthy. Marvel needs to do a hard reboot and shake some of us older fans off if it wants to survive.
I’m approaching 40 and will soon cross over the official threshold that defines “middle age”. Here are my takes on keeping up with current pop culture:
[li]Technology: I try to keep abreast of the latest technological advances since I don’t want to be the future generation’s version of a person who cannot set the clock on his VCR. That said, if someone handed me his Blackberry and told me to send a text out on it I’d be shamefully lost.[/li][li]Internet: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc., most of these seem to be fads, and I have historically eschewed most fads, so I don’t think my age is necessarily a reason here. These are all socially oriented web sites, and I’ve never been a socially active person, which is why online gaming has never appealed to me, either.[/li][li]Video games: I’m hopelessly stuck in the 1980s with this one. The Wii has some awesome games, sure, but I’d be just as content with an Atari 2600 and a stack of cartridges. GTA? WoW? Meh [waving a dismissive hand as I walk away].[/li][li]Music: I still keep up on the rock/metal scene, but I couldn’t care less who’s topping the pop charts and I haven’t for some time. In my teens, whether I liked it or not, I could easily recite at least ten song titles that were in heavy rotation at a given time, but once I entered my twenties I lost contact with many of my friends who were into the pop music scene and went my own way further pursuing my own musical interests.[/li][li]CDs vs. downloads: I must say it pains me to see that the future generations are going to contribute to the demise of distributing music on physical media. I can appreciate the convenience and the advantages of having one’s music entirely contained on an iPod or other similar device, but there’s nothing quite so satisfying as having a stack of CDs, each one complete with its own cover art, liner notes, etc.[/li][li]TV shows: I never watched many network TV shows even as a kid, so my age isn’t a factor here. Most of what I watch nowadays is on cable (TruTV, Discovery, etc.)[/li][li]Movies: I don’t think this will ever change. If it looks good, I’ll watch it.[/li][/ul]
I’m 38 and don’t follow popular culture as much as others do. At least, I’m not a fan of what the female demographic my age is “supposed to like,” such as soap operas, celebrity magazines, Oprah, etc. I prefer Europop, J-Pop, dance music, 80s rock, new age, and world music, none of which I’m likely to find on the radio nowadays (well, maybe some 80s music on KRTH and world music on KCRW.)I listen to the radio at work, mostly 'cause the women I work with have it on, but I hate half of what’s on it. Nothing against Taylor Swift, I just don’t like listening to “Love Story” on repeat for a whole hour. (Specific Coworker, I’m looking in your direction) I know who the Kardashians are, but don’t understand the preoccupation with them. So, Khloe’s fat. Is she sitting on you? No? Then shut up.
As for technology, I have bought two iPods, one 3rd gen Nano and one Classic, which I think I may have killed when my water bottle spilled inside my purse and soaked it, so am back to using the Nano till I can save up for an iPod Touch. My computer is basically built from spare parts, and needs a new BIOS, but it still works well enough for me to post here and watch anime. I have a MySpace page, now neglected in favor of Facebook, which I mostly use to play Farm Town and post pictures of my daughter. I also belong to a couple other message boards besides this one, but I post most often here. I don’t Twitter because my life is just not interesting enough.
I just recently turned 44 and I don’t want to mess up anyone else’s good time BUT:
Facebook - I’ve never been there, if I liked you back then we would have stayed in touch.
Twitter - I was handed a Laptop with 4 or 5 “Twits” on the screen and told how hilarious they were, one of them was mildly amusing but the rest were just inane crap (severely misspelled inane crap, HEY leave me alone, at least I try!).
Starbucks - Never been there and I’ve never felt that I was missing anything.
Movies - After “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” won all those Oscars I felt that the Oscars were so far out of touch with me that I gave up on Hollywood (“CTHD” was a laughable POS with some Harryhausen-grade effects). If “CTHD” was a good movie I have no interest in seeing a bad one.
Music - I’m sorry but Rap “music” SUCKS!!, the stupid-crap that passes for R&B nowadays is just thinly disgiused Rap, I’m not a complete shut-in though I like Dream Theater, Tony Levin, Adrian Belew, etc. it’s just that the “crap to real music” ratio is REALLY high. One of my favorite things is referring to “Hip-Hop” as “Hippity-Hoppity” (it just ruins the fanboi’s “Street Tough image”).
I’m not in a log-cabin furiously typing out my Manifesto, I have a smartphone, a few Computers. MP3 player, I install electronic ignitions in most of my vintage motorcycles, I love AGM batteries, 10 USB “jump drives” (1 Gig each), as long as there is an ACTUAL benefit I’m there BUT I just don’t care about the “Gee-Whiz” factor anymore, different ain’t always better sometimes it’s just different.
(old-fart in training, now GET OFF MY LAWN!)
I have to agree. I don’t understand people who just sort of withdraw from the world at whatever age and say “I’m too old”. Then they sort of stop exercising, stop updating their wardrobe and more or less just let themselves go to shit. And then they act like they know everything even though they are stuck 20+ years in the past. I knew guys in college who at age 20 seemed like middle-aged men in wating.
As you get older, you should be watching stuff or listening to stuff because you think it’s good. Not because you are trying to fit in with the other kids.
You should be dressing in a manner that is flattering and reflective of your age and tastes.
You should be keeping up with technological advancements because they make your life easier. Not because it’s cool to have the latest iPhone.
You should continue to maintain relationships and build new ones that enrich your life. Not because you want to be part of a cool crowd (whatever that means).
It doesn’t take long to become that weird old guy whose out of touch with everyone, shaking his fist at those punk-ass kids.
I don’t “chase skirts” because I’m married, and happily. I don’t cheat because I’m not scum.
Also, I still exercise (mostly run and weightlift) and take care of myself (I eat healthy and watch my health). Not caring about twitter, facebook or iPhones has nothing to do with if one lets oneself go or not, and thinking otherwise is petty and shallow.
The iPhone doesn’t make my life easier, because I don’t need 24 hour access to the internet. I am around a computer all day, why do I need to carry a one day charge device just to do everything I can do on the computer, but easier?
As for the wardrobe. I’m a guy, I never cared about that anyway, as I’m not 1.) Gay, 2.) metro-sexual. I wear clean, new clothes from Kohls or something relatively cheap and thats it. Of course, now that I’m married, I actually have a semblance of style, but its all her, trust me.
Just because one thinks facebook is pointless (I log in like once a month, tops), doesn’t mean one doesn’t make friends, or doesn’t participate in real life social events (I moved 2000 miles away, and we have friends we met at her work and on meetup.com). Also, I listen to modern music. I don’t even have an iPod, I listen to the radio and thus, hear new stuff all the time… and like it.
I like how people that are threatened by our types have to jump to conclusions and put us down just because their ego is so weak that it bothers them that everybody isn’t like them.
i’m newly minted 23 and i thought i’d be the youngest grouch on here but you’ve beaten me in the grouch part. i don’t feel COMPELLED to keep up with twitter, twilight, etc. just because it’s the new fad. however, if the product is good, it’d be bigoted of me to not indulge myself. however, with that said i am uncannily cynical of new fads, especially new fads that are really just rehashed old fads.
A funny thing: I like, among other genres, pop songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s. Occasionally someone comments that I like these songs because they were popular in my youth. Uh . . . how old do you think I am? These songs are from my ***parents’ ***generation, and they’re better than a whole lot that’s come along since.
I’m a woman in my late 50’s, who, although tends to frequently lean more towards many of the movie classics of the 1960’s, as well as much of the music back then, has also seen a number of newer films that’re quite good, and I’ve even listened to and enjoyed some of the current music, although a good bit of it’s too metallic for my tastes.
Having said the above, I’m more picky about the kind of movies I see today, as well as the kind of music that I listen to, and I listen olden-goldie stations and attend independent movie theatres (both of which I hold annual memberships to), when there are good movies playing at them. Unlike many people today, I don’t much like to stay home and watch movies on TV, so I’ve resisted in getting a DVD player.
Did you think before you wrote that or did you just let your biases just flow out?
WTF is “our types”?
I’m 48 years old. I don’t consider myself an old fart, geezer or whatever. I do joke that I am, but I don’t feel like that at all.
I remember LP records and when CDs came out. I greatly prefer portable media and have had an iPod since the time a 5gb one was new. I currently have an iPod Classic and an iPod touch. I prefer my music to be portable and wouldn’t care if I never had to buy another piece of physical media. I can get all the information I want about an artist or their music online, so I don’t need liner notes or a disk that can get scratched. Before the recent Beatle’s remasters, I can’t remember the last time I bought at CD.
I’d get an iPhone too, if I could get it with Verizon cell service.
I’m mostly open minded about music. On my iPod, you can find new and old artists. I like Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow, but I also like Britney Spears, Ted Leo and Rilo Kiley and a whole lot of other artists. I’d take well crafted 3 minute pop song over some bombastic half hour prog rock piece any day, unless it’s Yes or maybe Spock’s beard. In the end, though, a good song is a good song. And yes, I even like some Rap.
I don’t listen to commercial radio much, because I have a Sirius reciever in my car. I’m an early adopter, having Sirius well before Stern showed up. Oh and I like the Stern show as well. Long time fan since his WNBC days.
I have and use my Facebook account. I have a, now neglected, myspace account as well. I don’t tweet or IM mostly because I’m lazy.
As far as clothes are concerned, I don’t really care much. I’m a jeans and t-shirt guy and my line of work allows for it, so I’m not included to dress up. If I have to, I have a suit and I have some nice pants and shirts.
The kids don’t have to GET OFFA MY LAWN.
That’s the way I see it. If something looks good, I’ll try it. I tried twitter, didn’t like it, etc. What I often see, however, are people who simply dismiss things as crap, without knowing a single thing about it. And mostly it comes from older folks with built in biases.
I am 55 and still enjoy new music very much. I keep up with it, and try to see live music several times a year.
I like Facebook, and Twitter is okay for a news feed, but I don’t tweet.
I also don’t own a cellphone, and barely watch TV.
But do have an iPod and headphones, and treasure them.
In terms of clothing, I was never all that fashionable; I just try to not scare anyone.
How about the days of vinyl? Now that was the day of extravagant cover art and liner notes.
I still have those, and also CDs, but I do like the download thing. Have not bought a CD in awhile.
No one feels threatened. They just find it tedious. It’s like Grandpa Simpson proudly exclaiming “My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I likes it!” It makes people seem out of touch, bizarre and narrowminded when they cling to outmoded ideas or are so strident about anything they consider “new-fangled”.