Midlife Ruminations

Millennials ruminate on ‘old’ traits

I am in a touche mood. I read this article and fumed over the the results of a survey undertaken among millennials on what they view as being old. The energy retailer, Love Energy Savings, conducted the survey and discovered that ‘using cash to pay for things as well as tucking a handkerchief up your sleeve’ are the top two habits identified as age related actions.

How absolutely trite to be smeared by ageism based on habit.

Also, factually speaking, there are shops that will not accept card payments for purchases below £5. The cashless society is some way off but this seems to have passed the millennial radar.

Designing a list of traits or actions of what constitutes a stage in life is an easy as pie thing to do especially from a position of delusion. Stereotyping is the low hanging fruit of ageism. Delusion comes from a self adopted sense of arrogance that one will be young forever. I blame Dorian Gray.

On the other side of the coin, isn’t society fickle as hell? The nation celebrated Colonel Tom’s old age with great enthusiasm and the Queen is praised for having reached a grand old age but it seems that praise only extends to celebrities.

Millennials are now touching 40 which, in some definitions, is the threshold for being a midlifer. Yes, old age comes to us all if you are lucky enough to have lived thus far. In the current pandemic, it seems to be a privilege to be still alive regardless of what phase of life you are in. This is the big picture of life. So carry on tucking your hanky, using cash, getting your camera out to record a moment that will make memories and going to church (which I do).

Below are the top 20 things that millennials think make you old – what do you think?

1. Using cash – 28%

1. Putting a hankie up your sleeve – 28%

3. Getting bills through the post – 25%

4. Having posh cutlery for special occasions – 24%

5. Writing lists with pen and paper – 23%

5. Smoking – 23%

7. Describing a tune as ‘banging’ – 22%

7. Ringing for a taxi instead of using an app – 22%

9. Voting Leave – 20%

9. Watching actual TV – 20%

11. Still being on Facebook – 18%

11. Reading books – 18%

13. Going to church – 15%

13. Talking on the phone – 15%

15. Wearing skinny jeans – 14%

16. Using a camera – 13%

17. Dating in real life – 12%

18. Not having pronouns in your Instagram bio – 11%

19. Using a Satnav – 10%

20. Eating Dairy – 9%


  1. David Evans says:

    Being an occasionally cynical oldie particularly when it comes to the young generation repeating exactly the same mistake as so many previous young generations – i.e. idealistically looking down on oldies because they got it wrong, rather than asking oldies why did you fail to achieve your ideals and learning from their mistakes, but instead charging onwards with the sword of righteousness in their hand and repeating those very same mistakes the oldies made when they were young and losing – here is an oldie’s response to them:
    2) Having a hankie to use and knowing why it is important
    3) Never missing a bill because it went in the spam folder
    4) Having special occasions and making them so
    5) Being able to write faster than young people can thumb
    6) Never smoking, vaping or taking drugs
    7) Knowing that banging meant something much different 50 years ago to what it meant 30 years ago
    8) Having a car so not needing taxis – see point 1)
    9) Joining the EU and voting 67% to Stay in
    10) Using a form of media that uses massively less energy than streaming
    11) Writing Letters – see point 5
    12) Studying books rather than browsing through endless ephemera
    13) Having consistent beliefs based on principles rather than whatever is trending on TicTok
    14) Knowing that so much more important information is passed on by voice than can ever be with thumbs.
    15) Only wearing jeans to do DIY
    16) Taking quality photographs
    17) Knowing that looking into someone’s eyes is much more wonderful than a quickie on tinder or grinder
    18a) Knowing that language is a shared mechanism to enable everyone to communicate with and clearly understand each other and that the adoption of new jargon is used much more often to exclude other people than to join people together.
    18b) Also knowing what a pronoun is – i.e. a part of speech to facilitate communication and not a political statement
    19) Knowing how to use a map.
    20) Knowing the nutritional benefits of dairy products start from the breast and last a lifetime.

    Oh yes and

    1) Learning the value of money at an early age, thereby enabling us to work hard enough and long enough to bring up a family, pay off a mortgage and then support elderly parents in their twilight years, and still having a bit of spare cash in our own later years, while being thankful for what earlier generations, for all their failings, did for us.

    1. Just wanted to say that I think No 9 is tops on reflection.

  2. Dear David,

    My sincere apologies for missing your comment. I get spammed all the time with comments and almost missed your golden nugget. I can’t decide which ones on your list I would prioritise because I agree with ALL of them.

    Thank you and please leave a comment again when you feel moved to do so.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...