Well this might tick off everyone from my generation, but I’ll try to explain what I mean and hopefully not get myself hung in the process. My page is called Adulting To Adulthood because I see adulthood as this far off thing, a confident state of being that most of my generation and all of the would-be adults younger than us will likely have to work hard to reach. It’s a state of maybe not knowing how to do everything, but at least knowing how to begin tackling everything life throws at them. It’s a mix of a certain set of experiences lived combined with a mindset of “just getting it done” that might sadly be a state of being that might die off with the growth of newer ages of technology.
Why do I say that? Because the previous generations didn’t have the same opportunities available to them, nor the same amount of information thrown at them. Our parents’ generations were limited by the time it took to travel and send information, but this limitation really boil down to them only being taught the basics of how the world around them worked because that’s all they really needed. They lived in a time where their most complicated run in with technology was figuring out how to set the time on their VCR. (So many people won’t get that joke…..)
They lived in a time with far less opportunities for work, learning, or travel. The invention and explosion of the internet was something that happened in their later years, so it didn’t really affect their growth as a person in the same way it did the following generations. It’s hard for someone to get addicted to a phone game if they can’t even figure out how it works. Where as our generations grew up during that explosion and were shaped by it.
It may seem common place now, but where they carried tools and cash in their pockets, we carry plastic and the entirety of human knowledge and progress. Our phones, they both enrich and distract us from real life. For most of us however it’s a distraction, one that consumes our time as we’re exposed to the world of the internet. It’s an invaluable tool for our newly shrunk society, but its also why I personally think this distinction between our generations exists. A generation of people who were taught the basics of everything in their physical surroundings, because that’s all they easily had access to, and a generation who had to filter the entirety of human knowledge and progress to define a whole new version of what it meant to be a functioning adult.
That might sound hyperbolic, but I think its pretty accurate because we’re overwhelmed by a flood of information that mankind simply wasn’t exposed to prior to the internet. We’re the generations who had to decide, when you’re presented with the world, what do you do with it? We spent our developing years tackling this, and as a result we didn’t get the same basics our parents’ generation did. And to bring it all back around, this is where I think the distinction of Adulting versus a state of Adulthood lies. A confidence and sense of purpose born from knowing the basics and the ability to filter out everything else so they can focus on what’s important to them.
This only applies to the majority of course, some of us got out fine, but most of us were so bogged down with the amount we were exposed to when we were young that we’re still figuring things out. We’re at the age where the people around us consider us young adults, or (scarier yet) just “adults”, but we’ve had so much more to filter and work through that we’re just not there yet. We’re not yet grown in to the person we’re meant to become.
The right age, but the wrong person.