401k's

An Elite Daily article, entitled "If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong" was intent on generating traffic by going against everything sensible in the world. Perhaps a strategy or plot to be one of those viral Internet pieces? (56K shares since last week, according to their built-in counters.)

Under the horrible subheading When you care about your 401k, your life is just “k”, the author, who goes by the Twitter handle @LaurMoneyMartin, succinctly expresses the outlook of the #YOLO generation in glorified, sugar-coated terms. At a time when a Carpe Diem calligraphy gets the most likes on Instagram, these kinds of articles have proven itself as the kind of fodder twenty-somethings consider as empowering.

I am coming from an unusual perspective, from someone who, at 24, has both wife and a three year-old son, the core demographic she passionately derides, along with alien terms such as maturity, which means giving a fuck about something that's not #YOLO-related.

The article is extreme in its claims: it is against the idea of thinking about the future, dogmatically throwing things such as "We’re taking our time growing up, refusing to be shackled by mortgages and diapers," among other rallying cries which can be summed up into simple, illogical equations. Youth means worrying more about experiences than expenses; life should be lived, not watched in a "rent-controlled" apartment; when taking care of your finances, think of the go-big-or-go-home mantra.

Another one, an attempt towards the existential: "Those who don’t plan for the future aren’t planning for their death."

This way of thinking is borderline asinine. If there are ways to feel glad about yourself, reading a stupid Elite Daily article is not the way I imagined it to be. Even if I were to resurrect my pot-headed, angst-ridden self back in college, I still wouldn't have the nerve to write aphorisms such as "Your 20s are not the time to save; they’re the time to gamble." Really? And the website offers more of her harebrained articles: Lovers Are Fighters: Couples Who Fight The Most Communicate The Most; Why Damaged People F*ck Better, Love Better And Live Better; I Wore A Strap-On For A Week To Know What It's Like To Have A Dick, among other blunders only pleasure-seeking, egotistical people could write about for the love of money and attention.

(Thanks to a recent training on Google Analytics, I found something funny about how we designed social media: it reads page visits as attention, which in turn is converted to money. There's no such thing as a bad viral or a good viral; virality isn't about virtue as it is about money.)