“# under AGE” lists are crap

EDIT: I have recently been awarded “50 Under 50 Medium Writers” accolades and my entire opinion below has flipped 180 degrees. These lists are truly God’s work.

You’ve seen the lists, “20 under 40”, “30 under 30”, and one of the most exciting and my personal favorite: “10 under 10”:

The kid 4th from the right’s “10 under 10” certificate was later revoked after it was found she faked her birth certificate. She was actually 48 — not 7 as originally reported.

These lists are crap. Clickbait crap. Unless you’ve been selected to one of them — then they’re amazing judges of character and ability.

What could be more daft than arbitrarily counting the accomplishments of someone near the beginning of their career & the beginning of their life journey? J.K. Rowling was 32 when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published — guess she didn’t make the “30 under 30” list — I don’t understand why she bothered to carry on. Poor Sylvester Stallone was also left off of many of the “30 under 30” lists — Sly was thirty when he wrote and starred in the underground cult hit Rocky (you’ve probably never heard of it).

Life is a marathon — not a sprint. Why create a pressure to “succeed” so quickly? And what is the qualitative measure used in these selections to determine how nice the person is to their family, how much they volunteer in their community, and how much time they have taken to discover what truly makes them fulfilled and happy?

You may think, “you only hate these lists because you haven’t been on one, and you haven’t done anything worthy of being on them. You probably don’t even know what you’re doing!” That’s actually pretty accurate…fair point.

These lists bloat self-importance, but that’s about all they’re good for. These lists cause 23-year-olds to have panic attacks because they didn’t make their local, “400 Under 20” list — and they falsely think that, compared to their peers, they are falling behind and may as well give up. How about we celebrate someone going back to school to better themselves at age 50, or acknowledge we all do life in a different order — but in the end, all end up in the same place.

So — congrats to everyone. You are all on the “7.2 billion under 117 years, 86 days” list. (Way to hang in there, Violet Brown.)

Sorry if I offended any “# Under AGE” recipients — I’m confident your certificate will console you through the torment.

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About The Author

Craig Wiroll was awarded the prestigious, “6 under 6” award at his kindergarten — but the award was later revoked due to his inability to stop fidgeting during nap time and for spilling the entire container of NesQuik directly into the radiator. This has led to a lifetime of animosity toward such lists.