So, no--coiffure aside--I don't long to be twenty again, especially when I read about the poor millennials and how they suffer from plagues that were unimaginable in my day, plagues like FOMO.
Glued to their devices, they are unable to maintain eye contact with the world, or enjoy much of what little fun they can afford, because of "Fear of Missing Out." Like the inhabitants of the Second Circle of the Inferno (that would be Dante's Inferno, not Dan Brown's), they cannot settle on anything, and are blown hither and thither by the winds of social media.
|William Blake's version makes it|
look like they're being flushed through an intestine.
What are they so afraid of missing out on? Gossip about the Kardashians? The latest episode of Game of Thrones? A drink at a bar with people who are so much more fun that the ones they are with? BIngo. Those who are dissatisfied with their lives for larger reasons (student loans, dead-end jobs, living in their parents' basements) are afraid of missing out on social opportunities, and, phone in hand, they are powerless to stop scrolling and trolling, even though it may make them feel worse.
Talk about life skills that have gone the way of white gloves and wide-legged suits. Does it never occur to these poor little things that if they paid more attention to who they were with and what was really going on they could turn off the phone? They could decide for themselves, with their own psyches, without, gasp, the services of an app, who was boring, who was interesting, who was worth spending time with.
Wowie Zowie! In the olden days, we had to figure it out and deal with it on our own. Since we didn't have to actually see or hear our not-so-faraway friends and acquaintances getting shit-faced without us, or twistin' the night away, or generally jackassing around, we were free to imagine that they were moping around the hacienda or stuck with Aunt Prissy at the family BBQ. Even on those occasions when we had to suck it up, and try to be cordial to those around us, even if every cell in our bodies was screaming "listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go", we didn't have to feel bad about it because we couldn't check out that universe on Facebook, twitter, Instagram or whatever; we could let it go and worry about it later, or more probably, not at all.
The beauty of Geezerland is that I can selectively live in the future, or the past. Not only do I have no Fear Of Missing Out, I actually experience LOMO, or Love of Missing Out. I quite enjoy the empty mailbox, the quiet phone, the white spaces on the calendar. Best of all, there's no app needed. No app. Just nap.