Aside from obvious things like the fact that I would rather listen to Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles or The Platters than Rihanna, The Parlotones or The Black Eyed Peas (or the fact that I can't even think of more current bands to mention here because I refuse to listen to most radio stations because "it all sounds the same to me") there are certain things that make me suspect I was born in the wrong generation.
I'm not talking about the fact that I would rather sleep than go clubbing, my intolerance for bad manners, or how I believe in God, marriage and other concepts that many my age seem to think are passé. Right now I'm talking about attitude.
I'm supposedly part of Generation Y. And I can see some of those Gen Y traits in me... independent, entrepreneurial, lifestyle-centred, fairly media savvy and often anti-establishment. What I don't have is that Gen Y confidence when it comes to career and social media stuff.
There's this guy of my generation (I think he's three years younger than me) who is also a journo. He covers all sorts of stuff, from politics to music, and he has hectic opinions on everything, which he broadcasts to the world at large through his articles and social media.
He gets equally hectic comments in response, but he carries along quite merrily. I admire him for his writing skills and his guts. But sometimes I also read an article he's written and think it's really immature or just overly dramatic for the sake of being dramatic.
I still feel wet behind the ears in the media world. I've only been writing for five years. Some hacks out there have been doing this for five or six decades. They know everything about everything. It's awe-inspiring. And I have deep respect for the experience of age (another factor that makes me think I'm in the wrong generation).
I could never just hold forth on serious matters like news and politics and expect everyone to listen. This guy does. And people do listen. People take him very seriously.
And I feel both jealous of him and extremely relieved that I'm not him. It must be lovely to have such influence, but what a lot of responsibilty! Although, as a Gen Y dude, he seems happy to assume that the effect his work has on other people is their issue to deal with.
Another very non Gen Y trait in me is that I am suspicious of social media. Yes, I use it. I'm on Twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn and even (grudgingly) on Facebook. I enjoy it (except Facebook, which I pretty much ignore). But I don't trust it. I am very cautious about what I say (maybe not so much on this blog, but definitely on Twitter).
I cannot tell you how many times I have started a Tweet and then deleted it halfway through, because in my mind the internet is forever and I'm not sure I want that trivial Tweet to be around forever.
Friends and colleagues my age Tweet about all sorts of things, some of which I would never dream of mentioning IRL, nevermind online (another characteristic of older generations). They blab about their jobs, their bosses, their sex lives, the annoying things their kids and partners do... I won't go there. I won't even go near there. In fact, I suffer from acute post-Tweet stress disorder.
As soon as I've posted a Tweet, I start to wonder what people will think when they read it (I'm sometimes like this with blog posts too and will come back and edit a few times after publishing). Will they think I'm making light of serious issues? Will my clients judge me on my opinions? Will my sense of humour offend someone?
And, much as I wish that I had the confidence to Tweet in peace, I would also rather be OTT about protecting my friends' and family's privacy and my business reputation than become a fun-to-read-because-it's-just-so-inappropriate fount of useless TMI fluff. And that is what convinces me that I should actually be 45 years old.
Well, that and the fact that I choose Women & Home Magazine over the mags targeted at my age group and have recently taken up knitting again.