The Sometimes-Annoying Unspoken Rule of Age-Appropriateness

Because we hardly watch on our television (our noses either a few inches from the monitor, stuck in our phones or in a book) my family and I usually spend the quiet of the weekend afternoon taking turns in plugging our phones to the speaker.

I had recently added All Time Low’s newest album, Future Hearts, to my playlist. So when I played the album during my turn, my sister commented about how I still play “those kinds of musics”. When I asked her about it, she described the music to be “so high school”.

I might have seen red at the time…80 percent likely. And that’s a generous estimate.

I challenged her. I was plunging myself into this one-sided argument because while, I respect her opinion, it was such a provocative asking-for-a-fight opinion. Future Hearts was a wonderful album, consisting of wonderfully penned tracks and awesome music. From how I see it, someone needed to defend it.

While my monologue ended in less than five minutes, the idea stuck in my mind for quite a long time. And the thing was, we’ve had this argument before and my sister was a more eager participant in the previous mini debate. I forgot what it was but it had something to do with me never drinking coffee in my life and her looking at me like I’m an extraterrestrial specie.

The thing is, my sister was, at both times, a general reflection of society. What you should do, what you shouldn’t do. How you should or shouldn’t act. So many things were stereotyped for a certain age group. You don’t want to wear clogs because you might look like your grandma. You want people to take you seriously? Trade those hot cocoa with coffee. Oh, and look like you’ve grown out of your video games.

And I can’t help but notice how the older the person is, the more judging people are of his actions. A 3-year-old kid wearing an outfit that’s typically for teenagers is adorable and is being called a little lady. But a 30-year-old guy going out from a comic book store or playing video games raises some eyebrows.

For me, age-appropriateness at a certain degree is absurd. There are moments when it is needed, like it is recommended not to let children younger than 3 years old play Scrabble–unless they’re an amazing genius and a child prodigy. But liking a pop-punk band is “so high school”? I know someone my age, a friend, who is a die-hard fan of The Beatles. She was, for the lack of milder words, picked on by others because of her music tastes. Looking back, I feel bad for even commenting on her taste in music. I did acknowledge her for her eccentric style and originality on many things.

Also, this one’s especially to the teenagers out there, don’t even deny that there were at least one time when you made fun of or felt embarrassed by your parents or someone 50 years or older using social networking sites or acting like teenagers (see Tumblr for proofs).

Yeah, like that. (source)
Yeah, like that. (source)

When it comes to other people’s preferences and interests, why can’t we just leave them to their own devices? Why judge? Why decide that something is “so high school” and another is not? (I’m looking at you, sis.)

In the end, it just seemed that we are helpless of the general responses we have on certain things because we’re so accustomed to it. And for the most part, society and the complicated notions and so-called “standards” we ourselves unnecessarily create and follow were great influences to how we act and the opinions we have.

And contrary to how we constantly make ourselves believe otherwise, at certain aspects of our lives, age does matter.


Since I mentioned it here already, In My Playlist: Future Hearts by All Time Low

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