Here’s something silly and embarrassing and kind of stupid, but also true. I identify way too much with that “Me at the start of 2016” meme going around. You know the ones with some fresh-faced character on the left and a hard-aged version of the same actor or character on the right? Here’s the Harry Potter take:
Yeah, that’s actually how I feel in 2016. Not so much the dead part, but definitely the age part. This is the year I’ve started to feel the crucial disconnect between myself and the youngs that signals to my brain that there is now an unbridgeable gap between us. This is the year I started to feel old.
Up until 2016 I felt like I had more in common with the 23-year-olds just coming out of college than the 40-year-olds who are chronologically more similar to me.
So how old am I? Not that it’s any of your business, but let’s make a game out of it. I’ll tell you about my social media history, and you see if you can guess my age.
• Facebook was started the year after I graduated from college, but I mostly used MySpace until the end of 2008.
• Long before the advent of Tinder, I was an early adopter of HotOrNot’s dating service and did pretty well with it.
• I balked at the concept of Twitter when it was first launched, but now I use it all the time. I can’t say the same for Snapchat.
• Got me pegged yet? I’m 36. And here are a few of the reasons 2016 is the year I started to feel old.
My Favorite Albums of the Year Were Written By Old Guys Who Are Dead Now
David Bowie and Leonard Cohen are two of my all-time top five favorite artists, and they both released incredible albums in 2016. And they both promptly died after releasing them. Bowie was 69, and Cohen was 82.
The Continued Rise of Snapchat
At this point I’ve just decided Snapchat is not something I’m ever going to be totally fluent in.
An Entire Social Media Platform Came and Went and I Barely Touched It
Goodbye, Vine. Sometimes I watched you on YouTube. Because I’m old.
My Internet Slang Is Dated and I Barely Use Emojis
I keep using this 😉 instead of the winking emoji.
My Favorite Reddit Board Gets Excited About Learning New Things I Thought Were Common Knowledge
Apparently the kids these days don’t know Airplane! is, in places, a shot-for-shot comedy remake of the 1957 schlock disaster movie Zero Hour!. It didn’t go well for me when I griped about this factoid making the front page of /r/movies for the third time in recent memory.
Facebook Has Turned Into Something I Use Primarily for Sharing Pictures of My Kid with People I Actually Know IRL
I’ll just be over here in my dad jeans.
I’ve Never Watched a PewDiePie Video
Do I get points for knowing who he is?
I Knew Exactly What Stranger Things Was Ripping Off
You cannot sneak an Amblin homage past me. I was genuinely surprised the ’80s stuff in Stranger Things was new to a lot of people. It was probably my favorite show of the year and it felt like sinking into a warm bath of pure nostalgia.
This Rant Makes Me Feel Like Andy Rooney
Because I’m old enough to remember watching Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes and thinking that it seemed pretty damn lazy to build an entire personal brand on complaining about the kids these days. God I hope I’m never that lame.
You Did It 2016. You Made Me Old