When I was a kid, one of the most annoying things any adult could say was “In my day….” I mean, who cared, right? What the FLIP could the older generation have to say of any relevance to us? We were young, we ran free and wild and skipped school (but only in our free periods). So shut up, grandma. Relax! Choose Life! Don’t Do It! etc.
Nowadays of course I use this phrase, or my favourite variation ‘When I was your age….’ all the time. And what comes after that … is, ‘THINGS WERE MUCH MUCH BETTER THAN THEY ARE NOW. MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH. SORRY ABOUT THAT. JUST THOUGHT YOU OUGHT TO KNOW.’
Why am I so insistent on passing on this information given that (1) we have already established that the younger generation don’t give a FLIP about the past, GRANDMA and (2) it isn’t all that helpful to hear in detail about how relatively rubbish your life is.
Is it because I just want to pass on my wisdom to the next generation? No, it definitely can’t be that, because if I did happen to one day acquire some wisdom (unlikely, but possible I guess), then I would be sure to hang onto it, grimly.
No, the real reason I want to give the younger generation the heads up is because I want them to know – if you’re finding modern life is all a bit MUCH, well, you’re right. It’s not that you are being a bit feeble. Living in 2011 is dizzyingly complicated. We’re all permanently dazed and confused.
Think you’re immune? Try my quiz to find out – ARE YOU A PUNCHDRUNK VICTIM OF TWENTY FIRST CENTURY LIFE?
1. Have you ever gone to answer your phone, couldn’t work out why it wasn’t flashing and then realised the noise you heard was in fact a fly buzzing?
2. Have you ever had an argument about which voice to use on the sat nav?
3. Are you now thinking – ‘That was SO UNFAIR. That Wagner one is really funny’?
4. Have you ever got in a car without sat nav and realised no idea where you’re actually going, despite the fact that your destination is one you drive to every week?
5. Have you ever had something funny happen to you and your very first thought is ‘Oh I can’t wait to put that on Facebook.’
6. Have you ever “looked for someone”* on Facebook e.g. an old girlfriend/boyfriend, or someone who used to be vile to you at school and during a trawl through their photos, accidentally poked them/clicked ‘like’ of one of them looking ropey on the beach?
7. Have you ever paid 79p to download a track from iTunes because you simply could not be bothered to get up off the sofa and find the CD with it on?
8. Have you ever addressed someone face to face in real life with their chatroom nickname?
9. Have you ever bought any of the following (1) bunting (2) a cupcake (3) bunting with pictures of cupcakes (4) a cupcake with a design of bunting iced on it (5) any item with the words ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ on it (6) a worthless hedge fund?
10. Do you have a drawer full of 3D glasses and still have to buy a new pair every time?
11. Have you ever lost your keys/phone and thought ‘Oh I’ll just google them to find where they are’?
12. Have you ever nagged someone to join Facebook so you didn’t have the hassle of phoning them to arrange things or, what a bore!, to actually talk to them?
13. Every time you hear the word ‘Friday’ do you start to sing quietly to yourself ‘Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday’ even though you BLOODY HATE THAT SONG?
14. Have you ever used your mobile phone in the loo?
15. Have you ever dropped your mobile phone in the loo?
16. Bleugh? Really? That’s disgusting.
17. Is your handwriting so appallingly bad these days, because you type everything, that it takes you half an hour to scribe a laborious note to the milkman**?
18. Have you ever spent more than two hours attempting to tidy your email inbox?
19. Have you ever done the following to avoid work (1) refreshed Facebook for the fourth time in half an hour (2) tidied up your inbox (3) googled your own name (4) looked for a groovy anagram of your name (5) searched on Youtube for ‘funny animals’ or ‘amusing accidents’?
20. Have you ever been so desperate to avoid work that you have resorted to doing a pointless quiz on someone’s blog?
14-20 – you are entirely immersed in 21st Century Culture. Shouldn’t you be writing your own blog? Don’t forget to link to mine.
7-13 – you are relaxed and comfortable in the 21st Century but you haven’t yet completely lost your grip on life. How the hell do you manage it? Please, tell me, I’m begging you.
0-6 – you are still stuck in the 20th Century. Possibly even the 19th Century. You lucky thing. I’d stay there if I were you. Modern life is rubbish.
*translation = stalked.
**obviously you don’t actually have a milkman. No one has actually had a milkman for twenty years. Now we all have to go and buy our own flipping milk. I told you, modern life is RUBBISH.