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Monthly Archives: April 2012

I just finished reading an awful, condescending piece on the Huffington Post. It’s called “9 Ways Twentysomethings Screw Up Their Lives” by Meg Jay. (I don’t know the rules about linking so I’m just not going to link to it. You can Google it if you’re so inclined.) In it, she details the nine things she—in her infinite, aged wisdom—thinks people my age are doing wrong. This woman can really just fuck right off with her nonsense. Instead of trying to recap it for you, I’m going to go shot for shot with it because I legitimately disagree with every single point she makes.

These are the “mistakes” we’re all apparently making (and what this twentysomething thinks Ms. Jay should take into consideration):

1. “Spending all your time with your urban tribe—you’re not at Burning Man!” First of all: Burning Man? Am I a middle-aged gay man and/or hippie? I think not. Ms. Jay, you are clearly out of touch with my generation. Straight out of the gate Burning Man is what you’re coming at us with? Second, I like my friends. Why would I hang out with my “aunt’s neighbor” or “a friend of a friend from college” when they’ll probably suck? My friends are awesome and any time I spend taking a chance on a rando is time away from what is a guaranteed good time with my friends. Would I invite said randos to a party? Sure. Maybe they don’t suck. But I’m not blowing an afternoon babysitting someone’s socially inept friend/relative who needs to be set up on a playdate.

2. “Hoping that Powerball ticket will make your dreams come true.” Really? You think this is what we do? Did I buy tickets when the jackpot was the biggest it’s ever been? You’re damn right I did. Do you know why? It’s not because I thought I’d win (I may suck at math, but I do understand the basics of statistics and probabilities); it’s because a dollar was a small price to pay for a little bit of daydreaming.

3. “Stalking on Facebook (and then sulking at home).” I don’t think we stalk Facebook as much as you’re alleging. I mean, yeah we all do it occasionally but I don’t think it’s as prevalent as you claim. I also don’t know anyone who “sulks at home” after reading Facebook. This is another situation where I think people who haven’t had Facebook as long as us loathsome twentysomethings (read: older folks) should shut the fuck up about how we use Facebook. We were here first; we know what we’re doing. And if I do want to stalk on Facebook and sulk—I think it’s a gross overstatement to say it’s causing me to screw up a decade of my life.

4. “Dating losers.” I don’t disagree with the fact that people should *try* not to date losers, but we all do it. It happens. How are we supposed to learn what we want in a mate without trying out a variety of potential mates? I’ve dated a lot of losers and I don’t regret a single one of them because I learned invaluable lessons from each one of them. Date losers—just make sure you learn from them.

5. “Being ‘too cool’ for a desk job.” Uh, some people don’t want to rot at a desk for 40 hours a week. That’s okay. There’s no rule anywhere that says a person has to get an office job to be happy or successful. There’s nothing about being “too cool” here. It’s simply not something that appeals to everyone, regardless of their age. Money and socially acceptable career paths are not the be all and end all to adult life.

6. “Spending too much time with your Playstation.” Why not? According to you, Ms. Jay, the rest of our adult lives are meant to be full of office work and general drudgery. Why the hell not play some video games? You quip that we should “pick up a book” instead. Beg pardon? I read plenty, thank you. I also play the Sims. I’m no worse off for enjoying games.

7. “Shacking up too early.” Oh HELL NO. You’re trying to say that people who live together first divorce earlier/more frequently but you don’t bother to cite any studies. I feel like I’ve read the opposite—that we’re actually better equipped to navigate the seas of marriage because we have experience living/dealing with our partners. Some people have said that any increase in divorce is likely due to the fact that folks who live together first are more liberal and liberals are generally more amenable to the idea of divorce… versus their conservative counterparts who are more willing to stay in a miserable marriage because they’re so staunchly opposed to divorce. For me living together (for four years—the horror!) was nothing but beneficial. I can’t tell you how many things we hammered out before getting married. It’s glorious and I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t do it. I’ve had people who didn’t live together first tell me how much they wish they had.

8. “Acting like you’re on a reality tv show.” Apparently we’re too melodramatic for you. I’d say this little ditty I’m writing is proof that we are melodramatic, but you backed me into this corner. This column has driven me to melodramatic snark. I hope you’re happy.

9. “Ignoring your ovaries.” There it is. There’s that pervasive pronatalist, heteronormative bullshit I was waiting for. You say don’t rush into living together, but have a baby NOW NOW NOW! What the fuck? According to you twentysomething women (I noticed you didn’t call out the men here—just the women) should “listen to” our ovaries even though you have already established that: we aren’t working the right jobs; we’re not using Facebook correctly; we’re not socializing with the right people; we’re playing too many video games and so forth. But we’re totally ready for babies. And you don’t even TOUCH on those of us whose ovaries are screaming “NO, GOD NO!” at us. Clearly all women want babies and should have them before their ovaries shrivel up and turn to dust at 30.

To summarize: Our twenties are not for fun. We are to quit dicking around, get a job, date only prince charmings, get married (so we can live with our partners with everyone’s approval), and breed like Duggars. Stop having fun. Seriously. It’s time to grow up and be miserable just like Ms. Jay. I mean, why should we wait until our thirties to hate our lives when we can start now?

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Oooooookay children, gather ‘round Mama Rampaige…

Once upon a time in 2004 a little social network (now called Facebook) opened itself to a bunch of university students. Those of us who were in school at the time heard about it and signed up and we all lived quite happily posting about drunken debauchery and study groups and hookups and classes. We remember when your status had to include “is.” As in “Jane Doe is excited for the weekend” because otherwise it would show up as “Jane Doe is I’m excited for the weekend.” We were around before notes and games and banner ads and fan pages. We loved it when it was “the Facebook” even though we could do very, very little with it by today’s standards. We thought it was awesome.

And it WAS awesome… until Facebook was opened up to the unwashed masses. That’s when shit hit the fan. Anyone 13 or older could have an account. Fake accounts popped up left and right. Games came out of nowhere and clogged up our newsfeeds. Our parents and grandparents and coworkers started friending us. We stopped being able to liberally post whatever we’d like and started having to censor ourselves for delicate eyes and ears.

We all knew it was too good to be ours forever, but the opening of Facebook to the general public was still brutal. My worst nightmares came true the day my father-in-law joined Facebook. I dealt with everyone prior to that with as much grace as I could muster but my father-in-law ushered in a new era of awfulness where Facebook is concerned. Firstly it opened the floodgates for all of my other in-laws and their weirdo friends to send me friend requests—all of which I had to accept because they’d take it personally if I declined. Secondly my husband began to monitor the “appropriateness” of my posts thanks to my unwillingly befriending his entire family and their circle of friends. So I had to (and still have to) endure constant scrutiny over everything I post. Hell it’s part of the reason why I started this blog: I needed an outlet where I could speak my mind since my Facebook platform was taken away.

By far the worst thing about having my father-in-law and his cohorts in my newsfeed is the constant bitching and moaning about EVERYTHING Facebook. They whine that they don’t know how to do what they want. They whine that they don’t like seeing game invitations from their friends. They whine that Facebook changes things too often. At one point my father-in-law claimed he was leaving Facebook (for Google Plus, which is fucking hilarious) because they kept “fixing things that weren’t broken.” Give me a break.

Recently Facebook updated to the new timeline format and my father-in-law and his knitting circle lost their damn minds. I read through a dozen or so statuses and comments about how “young people don’t know what they’re doing” and “nobody listens to what people want” and so on and so forth. I bit my digital tongue so hard I had blood in my mouth.

First of all: Fuck EVERYONE who says “young people are messing up Facebook.” We were the ones who were here from the beginning. You old farts have no idea what Facebook used to be like or how drastically it changed in those first two years. If anyone doesn’t “get it” it’s you, not us. I’ve had a few 50+ year olds try to tell me that I’m using Facebook wrong. Excuse me? I’ve been on Facebook longer than you. Shut it.

Second: Facebook is free. Don’t bitch about shit that’s free. Nobody feels bad for you. Seriously. People who provide a free service to you DON’T OWE YOU ANYTHING. You don’t like timeline? Tough shit. It’s free. Nobody cares what you think about the free service you’re taking advantage of.

Third: You’re not chained to Facebook. You don’t have to put up with anything you disagree with. You can leave at any point. Hate the timeline? Fucking delete your account. It’s not rocket science. The problem is: Most folks are so dependent on Facebook now that they never follow through with their empty threats and instead continue to clog up everyone’s newsfeed with complaints about a free service that they weren’t even aware of until a few years ago.