SNOWFLAKES IN HELL – From the new, depressing research by CBS’ David Poltrack and Nielsen Catalina Solutions:

The median age of millennials is 30, Poltrack says — meaning that half are older and half are younger. And 30 happens to be the age at which millennials tend to self-identify as adults, Poltrack said. For these purposes, an “adult” is defined as “someone who has moved out of their parents’ home, has a job, and pays their own bills.”

Dear God. For long decades now, our society considered an adult someone who has finished high school and was about to either start further, tertiary education or commence full time employment. In general, we thought that – depending on the specific jurisdictions – you were an adult if you could legally consent to sex, drive a car, but alcohol, marry, vote, or enlist (or be drafted) and serve in the armed forces; roughly the five year span in a young person’s life between the ages 16 and 21, with 18 being right about the average for the end of adolescence and the beginning of the adulthood. Only some fifty years ago, the average age of an American soldier killed in Vietnam was 19. Their 18 year old fathers stormed the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima.

Not wanting to return to the bad old days of child labour and 12 year olds being treated as adults by the legal system, but a childhood stretching into your fourth decade on this planet seems awfully excessive – and indulgent. Adulthood should be a matter of biology, law, and – ideally – mental maturity, not a function of ceasing to sponge off parents after decades of Peter Pan-like existence, having a pleasant life, devoid of any responsibilities. I know that for many, their employment and accommodation situation might not be their ideal free choice, but that’s where maturity and responsibility comes from; we make the best of the cards we’ve been dealt, and adjust our expectations and lifestyle to our circumstances, not the other way around.

Perhaps, if you don’t want to consider yourself an adult until you’re 30, you shouldn’t be able to vote, drink, or drive – until you do.

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