Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Facing the Music About Getting Older

Me in a few months
I’m not going to lie, I’m just a touch terrified of turning 30. I was completely fine moving through my 20s, but everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked I turned 29. It felt like I’m careening towards the edge of a cliff without any brakes, like I'm on a deadline I forgot about. I’m examining my life and I find the last 29ish years wanting. I haven’t done anything at all. Plus, all the stuff that’s quirky and adorably weird about me feels like it will instantly become pathetic the second I turn 30. I am not in a good place and I have nearly four more months to dwell on it.

Why am I talking about my absurd age fears? Well, I heard something exceptionally troubling on radio this morning and it drove me into a full blown panic. You see, there are a few things I really, really, whole heartedly, completely and utterly love. Books are one, of course. The other is music. I am a huge music fan and I have over 100 GBs of music on my computer. I’m the obnoxious person who actually buys vinyl records. I have a default playlist of over 600 songs. I was just introduced to Pandora by a friend on Twitter and I’ve already created a dozen playlists. You think my book obsession is bad? MAN, wait until you see my music collection.

With that being said, the alt rock station I listen to when I drive to and from work spoke about an alarming study that claims that most people past the age of 33 just stop seeking out new music. I actually shrieked “WHAT?” out loud as I listened. It’s the most horrifying thing I’ve heard all year. You don’t even understand, books and music are basically my life. Being told I will lose interest in something I love so much is like being told I’ll lose a limb.

As is my wont, I ran screaming to Twitter to have a good break down over it and freak out a little. Since I have the best friends in the world, I was gently talked off my ledge. Our own Megan S was especially kind and pointed out the faulty metrics of the study. It was gone by a streaming music company and not, say, a university or peer reviewed journal. It could all be bullshit. Or it could be true and we’re all DOOMED.

There’s an excellent article on the AV Club about the study with over 900 comments proclaiming it to be completely useless and full of lies. It’s comforting but also slightly worrying, because many do admit to having increasingly unfamiliarity with some of the new acts out there right now.

There’s a saying about technology that I feel applies here. It’s from the always on point and wonderful Douglas Adams. “I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: 1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. 3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.” It rings true. Think of the usual stereotypes of parents being bewildered using new tech and their children who act like it’s as natural as breathing. I’m a total Twitter addict but my father can’t even pronounce the name of the site correctly. Trying to explain Pinterest to my mother was like trying to explain to a fish how to climb mountains.

I’m not going to lie, I continue to be terrified. I can’t imagine losing interest in new music or new technology. This world is a strange place, do we really lose our wonder of it as we age?
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