Think you are an adult? Ask yourself one simple question…

Cole Hook

As children, we all strive to act beyond our years. We look upon the height and strength of adults; we yearn to be grown up. However, when that time comes that one thinks he/she is grown up, how can one really know? What entails a step into adulthood? Some would say that adulthood comes with handling responsibilities without the help of a parent or guardian. Others say that one becomes an adult when he/she has stopped growing. Still more argue that turning 18 means one has reached adulthood; however, I believe that something else has to happen before one can enter adulthood. When social media means nothing more to you than another pathway to check on your kids, you can welcome yourself to adulthood.

    In an open-ended poll of WO students, 44% of students will consider themselves an adult once they are living independently. Just 17% of students answered that getting a job, obtaining a driver’s license, or filing for taxes made themselves of the adult status. Only 15% of students said when they turn/turned 18, they will consider themselves adults; however, 0% of students answers had anything to do with ceasing to snapchat or check twitter religiously.

    Ever since the invention of Facebook in 2004, social media has quenched the world’s never-ceasing desire for attention, communication, and social acceptance. There is a reason that significantly fewer people over the age of 25 use social media on a daily basis: adults simply don’t have time for it. Think about some of the things you’ve posted as a status or tweeted about in the last year. Consider all of the times you looked down at your plate full of food and thought to yourself, this looks so good that I’m going to share it with the world on Instagram.

     After high school, during college, or even after college, chances are you will get your first job. If you’re planning on paying off student loans, credit card debt, a house, or a car, chances are you’ll be working full time. 9 hour days will only come with one lunch break – 30 minutes. Between the worries of your workday  and fretting about what will come after your opportunity to fill your stomach, time, energy, and willpower to take a picture to tell the world what is for lunch that day will certainly not be available. After a long day, adults veg or taxi their kids around from one after-school activity to another. During this time, conducting a twitter poll on whether a haircut is needed soon or not will not be on your agenda, neither will filtering your face through the rainbow-barfing snapchat filter for that matter.

    I would bet that at least one of your parents has a Facebook account, and you’re probably condemning my judgements right now. Just because an adult is “on” a social media website doesn’t mean they can’t be considered an adult. I’m not encouraging the abstinence of social media. What an adult understands is yes, the use of social media can be very positive. Connecting with old friends is much more easy now, and spying on one’s kids can be done with the click of a mouse. However, the constant longing to be connected can be misleading.

    As my parents are aging, both 50 now, the main difference I notice in their behavior is their tendency to turn off the tv, look at me, and ask me about my life. The more phones, tablets, and tvs loosen their grip on one’s life, the more one realizes how much better the real world is than a virtual one. If you’re wondering how close you are to becoming an adult, consider how much social media dominates your life. If you could walk away from social media scott-free, pat yourself on the back. You are an adult.