At age 32 I have begun to realize that I am a full generation removed from what is cool and what is popular, a concept that recently hit me like a ton of bricks. This became apparent to me when I had to look up what “on fleek” meant, and when my 11 year old nephew told me the music I played him in my car (The Beastie Boys) was stupid. This is also apparent every time I’m the 300 millionth viewer of a popular music video. More than anything else though are the snide remarks I’ve begun to make every time I see someone taking a selfie. When you start to question and openly criticize how people in a generation younger than yourself act, you know you’re getting up there in age. As of this moment, the song Watch Me by Silento has 368,551,878 views, which some might believe pretty much sums up the generation younger than myself. Some call them Generation Z, other more critical observers might call them generation Watch Me.
While I too have become party perturbed by the antics of generation Watch Me (selfies mostly), one place where it bothers me less is on the playing field. I love sites like Bleacher Report who showcase not only amazing feats performed by pro athletes on their cell phones in the practice gym or field, but from high schools and colleges around the world and people in their backyards. For all their faults, generation Watch Me has made sports better for now and for always. Every generation does something the generation older then them thinks is silly and will eventually lead to the downfall of society, and inevitably the younger generations proves them wrong (see GoPro cameras). In the world of sports, the ability to film, photograph and instantly upload for the world to see has given us greater access to sports than ever before. As a fan, I love getting the behind the scenes view of the lives of my favourite pro athletes, and I love seeing the real wide world of sports (traditional and non) whenever I want.
So while I’m still not a fan of hip hop post 2006, cringe whenever I see someone at the gym taking a photo of themselves while working out, I hope athletes across the world continue to say the words all kids say to their parents when trying to accomplish any physical feat…. "WATCH ME”. I certainly will.