By Joe Rector

I’m from another generation, another time, and another planet. I must be an alien because so many things in this life baffle me. From social media to television programming, nothing makes sense to a member of the “Baby-Boom” generation.

I have a Facebook account. In times past, I used it to share photos, updates, and political arguments. I also kept up with selected people and organizations on Twitter. Those, however, have been the extent of my ventures into social media, and even on them I’ve limited my involvement. Instagram and Snap Chat are beyond my understanding. Young people are involved with all of them. They’ve mastered communication with thumbs that move so quickly they become blurs. Mine are stiff with arthritis, and I correct mistakes as soon as possible; they come with nearly every word that is typed.

I substituted the other day, and in one class, an entire table of students sat with their heads buried in their phones. I asked one boy how much he knew about the girl next to him. I gave him half a dozen things he might have learned about her during the semester, but he said he knew none of them. He added, “She’s just been sitting beside me for two weeks.” That’s plenty of time to discover basic information about another person, but these young folks are too “zoned out” of life to know the slightest things about their friends.

I’ve always enjoyed watching television, but the shows I can enjoy have dwindled over the years. Much of it has to do with the simple fact that I don’t understand most of them. So-called reality shows hold not fascination to me. I couldn’t care less which bachelor a girl chooses, and I’m not too interested in watching people “survive” on an island after self-imposed, greed-ridden ventures.

Someone needs to explain to me what is so grand about sitting in a room and playing a video game. We old people enjoyed playing outside. We made up our own situations and then plotted how to get out of tough situations, such as being trapped in the middle of a war or being encircled by Indians. Our entire bodies were sometimes sore from the play, not just our thumbs and behinds.

For sure, I don’t understand fashion. A quick scan of the Internet shows jeans with rips in the front legs. Females will pay from $45 to $225 for pairs of them. Guys wear tight-legged jeans with t-shirts to work. How’s that allowed? Some males still wear their pants on their hip bones and walk with one hand holding up those britches. Untied shoes that flop on their feet are also in vogue. I’d break an ankle or some other body part as I tripped on such wardrobe choices.

The “grubby look” is also all right. The best-looking men’s faces sport stubble. It used to be that walking around with whiskers that hadn’t been shaved for a few days was an immediate turn-off for women. Hair that is matted or standing straight up like when a person just crawled out of bed is a popular look. Why is that so appealing?

I looked in my closet yesterday and realized that most of my shoes are several years old. My clothes are casual, but neat and clean. My music preferences come from artists who performed during the last century. Yes, I’m old and set in my ways. The main reason for that is I just don’t understand the world in which I live these days. I’m sure that’s been said by generations since the beginning of man’s existence.