By age 30, people should have whatever they want to have, regardless of society’s expectations of success. At least, that is what the internet is saying.
A self-made millionaire who retired at 35 years old sparked a debate about societal and career expectations when he offered some advice on the types of friends “you should have” when you turn 30.
It all started on 1 August when Steve Adcock, who goes by @SteveOnSpeed on Twitter, tweeted: “By age 30, you should have a group of friends that talk business, money, and fitness, not politics and pop culture.”
The tweet, although well-intended, was criticised for being yet another unsolicited opinion on what people should have achieved once they reach the milestone. Of course, there’s no playbook that lists the achievements millennials should have under their belt. Success looks different for everyone, and there’s no one way that life should look when you turn 30.
So, to no one’s surprise, Adcock’s tweet prompted thousands of replies from users joking about what you should actually have by age 30. Some examples included very relatable mentions of lower back pain, having 100 tabs open on your computer, and hoarding a large collection of tote bags.
However, the overwhelming sentiment maintained that no one should tell you how your life should look, or the friends you should have, when you turn 30. This sentiment was echoed in one tweet written by Douglas Boneparth: “By the age of 30, you should not care what anyone else thinks and do what makes you happy.”
In true viral meme format, a number of responses to Adcock’s tweet also referenced television shows and movies in pop culture, which was ironic considering his original tweet encouraged 30 year olds to ditch their friends who still enjoy discussing pop culture events.
One reference came from the character Charlotte Lucas in the 2005 film Pride & Prejudice, the movie’s resident spinster (she’s only 27, mind you). “By the age of 30 you should no longer be a burden to your parents with no money and no prospects,” they said.
Another user aptly pointed out: “By age 30, you should know that people who discuss money, business, and fitness can also discuss pop culture and politics. These topics are not mutually exclusive.”
Other responses were hilarious and perfectly absurd.
“By the age of 30 you should own, not rent, OWN a bouncy castle,” one person wrote. “This is a time when you should be building equity. The only way to beat inflation is with inflatables.”
“By age 30, you should have your zombie apocalypse team figured out,” another person said.
By age 30, you should have lower back pain, one failed relationship that almost broke you and a constant sense of dread about where society is headed.
— rabhinder kannan (@rabhinderkannan) August 2, 2022
By age 30 you should have at least 40 different tote bags you don‘t need but keep stuffed into one larger tote bag which is the one you‘d technically need the most but now can no longer access
— Dr. Sabrina Mittermeier (@S_Mittermeier) August 4, 2022
By the age of 30 you should own, not rent, OWN a bouncy castle. This is a time when you should be building equity. The only way to beat inflation is with inflatables.
— Yer Gal Friday (@FridayInHalifax) August 4, 2022
By age 30, you should have your zombie apocalypse team figured out.
— Kar (@karlogan_) August 4, 2022
By the age of 30, you should have at least 5 web browsers with over 100 tabs opened that you don't have any plan to actually read.
— Khoa Vu (@KhoaVuUmn) August 4, 2022
Perhaps the reason why Adcock’s tweet achieved such meme status is because millennials are tired of being told what to do, given the fact that their generation still owns only seven per cent of the nation’s wealth, compared to when baby boomers were their age. As many as 60 per cent of American millennials say that crippling student debt loans is part of the reason why they can’t afford buying a home.
Although, that hasn’t stopped boomers from claiming that 30-somethings aren’t able to save enough money to buy a home because of “Netflix subscriptions” and purchasing “fancy” coffees.