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I’m not one to complain too much about the past being better than the present. The whole “le wrong generation” shit is tiring, and things weren’t objectively better in any other decade. Sure, some aspects were better, but overall, every generation has problems as well as solutions to previous problems. There are, however, a handful of things that I want to touch on that I think would be nice if they made a comeback. Am I now complaining about the past being better than the present like I said I wouldn’t? Sort of. Only a little bit. Shut up.
1. Seeing Your Friends In Person
I’m not normally one to toot the “current generation is disconnected from each other” horn, because I think it’s overstated. You can have a good friendship with someone now via only electronic communication. Hell, there are guys I went to school with who I get to stay in touch with because of electronic communication. They might have fallen off my radar had I grown up in another decade. However, there is certainly a “crutch” aspect to our technology. I have friends living in the same city I live in who I go weeks or even months without making an effort to see, because we’re constantly texting or shooting each other emails. Once upon a time, you would think to yourself “I haven’t seen Bill in a while. I should call him up and see if he wants to get a drink.” Now, you can just text Bill and see what he’s been up to lately. He’ll fill you in on how his girlfriend is driving him nuts, you’ll bemoan how little you get paid at your job, and suddenly the conversation you would have had at the bar just happened on your phones. Sure, if you’re good enough friends, you’ll still try to carve out some face time (not FaceTime, assholes) but there’s not as much of an urgency to it now. We’re like relationship camels. We can sustain friendships significantly longer in between actual hangouts, and I’m not sure if that’s always a good thing.
2. Rock Music
Don’t get me wrong on this. There’s still a good amount of great rock music that bands are making right now, but you have to go digging for it. It seems like the only mainstream rock band that’s actually talented and isn’t just chasing a low IQ, Midwestern fan base is the Foo Fighters. Other than that, there are a few bands that are holdovers from our adolescence (Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World) and bands that are holdovers from another generation’s adolescence (Van Halen, Journey). Rock music is no longer the mainstream sound, which means that rock bands have to work a lot harder to stay relevant. This also precludes the chance for one hit wonders. Queensryche is not a good band, but “Jet City Woman” is a great song. In modern music, though, one really good rock song isn’t good enough to get you to chart anymore.
3. Starter Homes
I get it. Some of you in the middle of the country still have the luxury of buying your own home for absurd prices. But even in states with traditionally low costs of living, the price of a house in metropolitan areas is still high, and it’s significantly tougher to get a loan with any sort of favorable terms. And for those of us on the coasts? Forget about it. There are families of four out here who will rent for the rest of their lives. Look, I’m not saying I even want to buy a house–I’d just like to have that option.
4. No “Burden Of Choice” In Dating
I’ve said before that our myriad of choices when it comes to modern dating is a net benefit. It makes it more likely that you will find someone perfectly suited for you. It does, however, prevent one crucial aspect, which is finding someone at all. When your options were limited to people you could meet in bars or at activities or through friends of friends, you had fewer options, which meant you would be more likely to settle with someone. I’m not advocating for settling, but I think it’s overall pretty beneficial to date lots of people, most of whom aren’t a good fit for you, because it will help you know what things are dealbreakers and what things are just annoying traits. Plus, you hone in more each time you date the wrong person on what exactly the right person will look like. In modern dating however, because we know that there are hundreds or even thousands of people we could potentially meet online, we’re more apt to pass on someone who we might have given a chance 20 years ago. I’m not sure that means you’re going to miss out on your soulmate by ignoring the message from the guy who is just a little too schlubby for your taste, but you certainly could miss out on a fun, six-month relationship.
I don’t even need to explain this one. I’ll just let Lloyd Christmas do the talking.