By Adam Reeves
Lately I’ve been feeling old.
I feel like things are changing too fast around me these days. It feels like just yesterday to me that Clinton was still in office, cell phones were the size of a small continent and Seinfeld was part of the NBC Thursday night lineup.
Now people are absorbed in their smartphones, listening to music that makes my ears bleed and driving cars whose designs are a complete assault upon the eyeballs.
Television, my once trusted friend, is now littered with so much nonsense that I actually have to read books from time to time. Just writing that makes me shudder.
I was a child of the 80s and 90s, so maybe it’s natural that I’m beginning to feel out of place lately. Being in class with people nearly a decade younger than me doesn’t help matters. Maybe it’s just an age gap thing.
Is society moving too fast these days, or am I just old-fashioned? Maybe I should take inventory of myself before I throw a generation under the bus.
It took me ages to give up my CD player and get an iPod, and when I finally did, it was full of nothing but Elvis, Fats Domino, various Motown artists and classic Delta Blues. I listened to Skrillex once and it took me at least 30 minutes to figure out that he actually wanted to sound like that intentionally. I thought something was wrong with my iPod.
I hear classmates talking about how badly they want to move to huge northern metropolises like Seattle, New York City and Los Angeles, but I’d honestly rather play in traffic. In fact, my career plans involve moving to places even more Southern and smaller in population than Russellville, namely in Louisiana or Mississippi. Towns with more than 100,000 people make me nervous—I think New York City would give me a stroke. I can’t even handle Northwest Arkansas more than a few hours at a time.
These days, when people want me to “hang out” with them (if me putting that in quotations doesn’t prove my point, nothing will), a lot of it involves going to bigger cities in the state and staying up all hours of the night. I’d honestly rather be on the couch watching Netflix or just sitting on the porch than on Dickson Street until the early hours of the morning. I barely even drink caffeine, so it’s safe to say I’m not going to be tying one on and stumbling back home any time soon.
I can’t even make myself get a smartphone. I don’t care enough about what other people are doing to make myself check in on them on Facebook while I’m somewhere else in town. I don’t want to take photos of my food for Instagram. I want to eat it. I don’t want to text a person across the room. If you subscribe to the whole YOLO thing, tell me, are you really enjoying only living once if you never live outside your smartphone? Odds are you’ll never hear someone on their deathbed say, “I wish I had tweeted more photos of my fettuccini alfredo while I had the chance!”
Yep, upon further inspection, this is all on me.
Maybe it has something to do with growing up in Mississippi. We’re about 40 years behind the rest of the country, so it makes sense that I have trouble adjusting to change. I grew up on a farm in the “Pine Belt,” so that exacerbates the issue. I think, in any case, it’s not you, Millennial Generation. It’s me.
I think it’s just time that I give up the fight and accept that I’m a young old man. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The fact that I ended a column with two different Seinfeld references just proves my point even further.