Taking Time Out of My Delayed Adulthood to Discuss the NYT Article

Posted by Jessica

I mean, I should talk about it, right?  Everyone else seems to be.

So here’s my two cents.

I think the article itself is less dangerous than some of the commentary that has followed.  I think it might have a few good points.  And I think that it’s interesting – and necessary –  to bring a sociological point of view to the story.

The truth of the matter is as long as there are zero jobs out there for people my age, and as long as the few jobs that might be available provide salaries that are way below the cost of living, 20-somethings are going to rely on their families for financial support.  I mean, doesn’t that make sense?

It also stands to reason that we would be extremely “self-focused” at this time in our lives.  First of all, we don’t have families of our own. We’re just looking out for ourselves.  It’s our full-time job to engage in a hustle: sending out resumes, trying to sell ourselves, taking whatever jobs we can get for however long our employers will let us keep them, and always trying to keep our eyes on our own personal futures.  There’s a lot of uncertainty in our lives, and the thought of what may be down the road, at least for me, is sometimes the only thing that can keep me centered, and to keep my eyes on the prize.  And we’ve just come off a high of probably the most self-indulgent time in our lives: college.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t spent some time looking like these disaffected youths (common characteristic: bed head.)  But in the meantime, I’ve held about five or six jobs over the course of the past year.  There is zero stability in my life (besides the fact that I have a place to live at mom and dad’s), so yeah, I’ll frolic in a field or play some bananagrams or whatever the fuck these kids are doing in these photos to ground myself in the meantime.  That’s not how I spend the bulk of my existence.

I think there’s even some freedom in boomeranging.  Because I currently don’t have to worry about the rent, I have the option of taking jobs that might be a little more enjoyable and pay a little less.  I mean, I might as well.  Otherwise I’d probably go nuts (example: my most current job, which I don’t have anymore, btw. )

So yes, I can’t speak for the psychological points in the article, but I can say that we’re all really victims of circumstance.

Also I’m really pissed that the author stole my idea for a post about the boomerangers of summer TV.  I might just write one anyway.

Anyway, that’s just my (probably poorly developed) gut reaction.  I’d be interested in hearing what some others of you might have to say about the matter.

I also want to point out Amanda Marcotte’s gorgeous rebuttal to Salon’s take on the article.  It’s almost like what I would say, only way better.  Also if you have a chance to go check out the Salon piece, some of the comments are absolutely precious.


2 responses to “Taking Time Out of My Delayed Adulthood to Discuss the NYT Article

  1. Bravo Jess! Please do write about the TV boomerangers.

  2. Awesome post! I think you really capture the precarity of twenty-something employment and unemployment. I’m also curious about the boomerangers of summer TV.

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