Physical aging is nothing compared to the horror of not "getting" young people

The fallout from middle-aged me’s disinterest, stubbornness, and mild fury at fast advancing technology and culture is that I don’t know what anyone young is saying, ever. This becomes peak problematic when I actually need to interact with these people. The couple of generations behind me are becoming CEOs and parents, and I’m exactly what I’ve spent the last 20 years accusing my elders of being: angrily befuddled by everything needed to get by in life. Even my dad has an Instagram account and (so I’m told) posts a lot of pictures of attractive dinners and landscapes. I, on the other hand, still can’t work out why anyone would want to look at someone else’s doctored photographs.

At school, pop culture knowledge just seemed like currency you needed to not be bullied rather than something particularly fun, but I did pay attention. Part of the appeal of becoming an adult for me was that I could retire from the grindingly dull task of having to memorize the names of people in bands. Now, though, it turns out there’s just as much for me to have to jam into my obstinate head, only I’ve been in an elective coma for a decade, having reached my progress and cultural evolution saturation point around 30. Just the thought of trying to catch up on everything I’ve missed is exhausting.