“Sewed on a button with floss because A. I don’t have real sewing thread and B. I don’t ever floss.”
“It’s been a good run, houseplant. I kept you alive for a record three months before you died a scorched and thirsty death. RIP.”
“I can’t adult anymore. If you want me, I’ll be in my blanket fort, coloring.”
Welcome to the world of #adulting—“to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.” It’s a trend that the larger non-Millennial world is starting to take notice of, not always in a good way. I’ve heard or read all of the following explanations:
- Even if they’re competent, smart, and successful, young people feel they can’t brag about their real achievements on social media, so instead they talk about getting excited about buying a toaster or finally having a dinner that didn’t come out of a box.
- High schools don’t teach basic skills like balancing a budget, cooking, or sewing, so what used to be common sense isn’t anymore.
- Thrust into a difficult economy, surrounded by broken relationships, and facing an uncertain political climate, millennials feel a Neverland-longing for childhood. The world seems bleaker than ever, so in a way, #adulting mourns lost innocence.
- It seems hypocritical for the generation that gave young people participation ribbons in elementary school to suddenly wonder why they seek out validation on social media and call them overly sensitive or lazy. Why not mentor them instead?
- Millennials are reaching traditional landmarks (getting married, owning a home, etc.) later than any previous generation. When they talk about saving up to buy a lawnmower instead of the latest video game console, it’s a joking way of processing a transition that many of their friends might not even be going through yet.
There’s a nugget of sociological truth in each of these explanations, but I’m mostly with the people who say #adulting is a specific kind of humor that happens to be popular right now. Combine that with a wave of not-so-distant nostalgia (the Pokémon resurgence and live-action remakes of basically every Disney golden age classic ever, for example) and you get 20-somethings joking about accidentally turning their laundry pink or finally reading a book not classified as YA. (more…)