As we get older, there is an idiom that keeps cropping up like a child peeking over the neighbor’s face. The more I hear it, I can’t help but cringe:
“You have to adapt.”
Conversations between the younger crowd and I usually end up with the need to adapt in order to roll with the punches in society today. I’m not so sure if that’s how I want to “roll,” especially if it’s not for good reasons.
You will often hear the secret to longevity in the music industry is that the artist has been able to stay in the current realm of music trends. I often wonder if priority is placed on what’s hip, where does the creativity come in? Aren’t you putting constraints on the creative juices by implementing little hipster attributes in the music? Yes, it may sound groovy, but you run the risk of becoming strictly dated. For example, I wonder what would happen if any song from Ray of Light started to play at a high school homecoming dance. I’m not certain their reaction would be the same as listening to the latest Jay Z (is he still hip? I don’t even know. Too commercial for me).
The following story is true, also brilliant (I may have written about this in my blog already. If so, I apologize for being repetitive. But the story is so brilliant, I’m sharing it again):
I have a close confidante who works in the mobile department at Best Buy. She recalled a story of a middle-aged man (maybe older) who recently traded his phone for a newer model. So, what was the trade-in, you ask?
The first-generation iPhone.
No, that was not a typo. I meant to type “first-generation” because that’s exactly what he had.
Intrigued, my confidante inquires, naturally, “How has it been working all this time?”
“It is fantastic as a phone and works great for texting. I wasn’t able to do much else.” he replies nonchalantly. “The only reason I’m parting with it now is because my work requires some sort of app that is not compatible with my phone.”
Just goes to prove that if by “adapting” means having to roll with all the whistles and bells, this man proved that society can do without and still live to see another day.
In any subject, the youngins’ often resort to the “adapt” argument whenever the old fogeys point out discrepancies. Is it because they’re so young and naïve that they can’t (or won’t) see any wrongdoing? As with technology, I find myself arguing against it mostly due to privacy concerns, but conversations with the youngins’ lead me to believe they’re not too concerned because having your own customized bitmoji on Snapchat outweighs the risks. Or giving permission to apps to access everything in your phone just to play a quick game to kill time. Society would have responded with an outright NO thirty years ago, but today we have no problem saying YES. Could it be that society became so brainwashed by deceptive advertising and marketing that it turned humans into robots, and took away our critical thinking expertise? All signs point to “yes.”
I have no issues with adapting, but it must be for the right reasons. I’m not going to just go with the flow because that is what society expects of me. I salute the first-generation man, who didn’t fall victim to the colors of digital doo dads. He maintained his individuality with defiance. And that is why old people rule.
By the way, he ended up with the latest Samsung. 🙂