(Don’t) act your age

In case you hadn’t heard, demo doesn’t define youth. Thanks to Mr. McKinney for posting the link via Facebook.

I’ve been reading a few books lately about issues w/ young people not growing up and how media is encouraging them to not grow up. Personally, it comes off as odd from authors who were on the tail end of the “don’t trust anyone over 30” generation. Generational sour grapes.

This particular research, however, is somewhat sad when you read, “people worldwide delay the onset of adult responsibilities and stay emotionally and physically younger for longer, it is becoming more acceptable for older people to participate in youthful pursuits.”

Hmmm, maybe if “older people” paid attention to non-“youthful pursuits” like personal finance we’d be in a different place right now. Kinda snarky, perhaps, but in light of the books I’ve been reading about youth’s inability to accept personal responsibility, that would assume “older people” can, and from what I’ve been hearing, the “older people” are placing blame like it’s nobody’s business. Who knows better if someone can really afford something than the someone who’s spending the money? Anyway…

Regardless, often times as a marketer it feels like you have to make an intervention choice – being an enabler of behavior (in this example, capitalizing on delayed adult-hood) vs. a leader towards new behavior (building a foundation on which moving to adult-hood is okay and enjoyable). I often fret that we focus too much on the latter vs. the former and this feels like it’s one of those cases. I’m sure this is why the Dead Kennedy’s implored MTV to get off the air back in the day (BTW, research was done by a subsidiary of Viacom).

For levity’s sake, allow me to inject a lyric as I am wont to do. I feel my Creative Zen is appropriately named as it seems to push me toward Zen by providing timely songs as my mind turns over topics…

She said “I’m done with looking back, and you look your age
Which is 37, by the way, and not 28
F**king let them stare, ’cause at this point I don’t care”

– Okkervil River, You Can’t Hold the Hand of a Rock and Roll Man

Sometimes you’ve gotta be the girl screaming at the Rock and Roll man, not caring what others think.

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Filed under media on media, media usage, pop culture, target audience

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