In recent years I’ve heard the word ‘adulting’ used to describe various types of behaviour. I have to say that when I first heard it, I thought it was being used in a joking manner, but it appears that some folks use it seriously.
According to the ‘urban dictionary’ website, the verb ‘To Adult’ has the following meaning : “to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.”
Of course, there were adults doing stuff before the last couple of years – we just got on with it rather than made up words to describe it. Adulting is a concept that seems to be popular with Millennials – apparently 20 and 30 somethings are finding the whole business of life in the 21st Century a bit of a pain. I can see that there are issues around these days that I didn’t have when I was in my 20s – the main one being that buying your own house these days is a harder proposition than when we bought ours – but for crying out loud, when you get someone in their 20s or 30s saying ‘I’m not good at adulting’ or being proud of their ‘adulting skills’ because they’ve cooked a meal, we have a major problem.
I have a ‘thing’ about how some people seem to be increasingly infantilised, particularly people in their 20s and 30s, and this sort of nonsense seems to fit the bill. Again – I empathise with the challenges in life today, but come on folks – it’s always been hard and you’re not being asked to charge up a beach under machine gun fire. You’re being asked to cook food; I was 10 when I first cooked tea for myself, my mum and my dad.
I’ve previously written on the concept of ‘The Competent Man (or woman)‘ on this blog, and so was slightly hopeful when I came across this article in the Guardian recently, about an organisation called ‘The Adulting School’ based in the US. I took a look at their ‘Adulting IQ’ and found that there were some interesting suggestions in there of what constitutes being an adult today – it’s here.
One has to say that it’s American and that it almost certainly isn’t aimed at soemone of my generation. To put it in context I was born 15 years after the end of World War 2; it was less than a decade since the end of rationing in the UK, and my parents were of an older generation who’d lived through depressions and general strikes as well as WW2. I guess I learnt from the experts.
But it’s a very serious problem; many of these people who’re having problems with Adulting will have kids; the chances are, therefore, that the next generation will have fewer adulting skills of teh sort I learnt from my mum and dad by absorption – how to wire a plug, cook food, darn socks, plant stuff in the garden, basic plumbing, budgeting, etc.
I’d be the first to admit that there are new skills that the Millenials and more recent generations have that they acquire ‘osmotically’ – using technology…er….yes. That’s about it.
Maybe I need to start a UK branch of The Adulting School…..