I say this more and more often. Just a few years ago, I was the one older friends and relatives came to for insider information about "modern youth culture." I knew what bling and tramp stamp meant, and could decipher some basic text/IM abbreviations like TTYL and BRB. I was also quite proud of knowing the meanings of FML, WTF? and STFU. Lately, though, I have no clue what anyone under the age of 30 is saying. Plus, their music annoys me and I am quite confused by their fashion sense. Apparently, sometime in the last few years, I became an "old fogey." Before long, I will be spotted sprinting out of my house carrying a broom and chasing away those no-good JDs who trample my flower garden.
"Get away from my daffodils, you whippersnappers!"
What showed me just how old I've gotten? Video games. In my day (*groan*), we had Pac-Man, a strange little creature running around eating dots and making beeping noises. (I had the Texas Instruments version - "Munch Man.") I still remember when Super Mario Bros was introduced. Wow! Look at the pretty colors! And all those characters! And all those levels!
For my generation, video games were just an entertaining diversion; today they are a way of life. There are magazines, organizations, online gaming groups. Video games are now complex alternative universes. Learning the rules and lingo for those is hard enough, and I'm way out of my league when it comes to virtual reality games. Isn't it enough work creating a "real" identity for myself? Now I have to pick an online persona as well? Blue hair? Black hair? Schoolgirl uniform? Overalls? Tall? Short? Slender? Uh, "full-figured?" I'm still trying to figure out who I want be when I grow up, in the offline world, I mean, and I can't help but think I could put all that energy and creativity to better use. Still, it's not just the teens and tweens who speak a language I can't understand, play games I don't get and dress in things I wouldn't have been caught dead in when I was younger. People my age are adopting all of this too. And wouldn't I be narrow-minded not to at least try to figure out what all this is about? Besides, I'm a journalist. I could call it "research."
So, with what's left of my weekend, I think I'll fire up my old Texas Instruments computer, read a fashion magazine or two, maybe even watch "Gossip Girl" or "One Tree Hill." Or maybe I'll just watch Mystery! on PBS, listen to one of my old Cure CDs and pass out after the evening news.