If your goal is to miss 90% of pop culture references, this is how you should live. It is vital to start at a very young age, though, and to continue the following regimen for at least a decade.
- Be homeschooled.
- Listen to exclusively Christian music.
- Focus all extracurricular activities in elementary, middle school, and high school around your local church’s calendar of Bible studies and events.
- Don’t watch TV.
- Stay away from R rated movies, and most PG-13 movies.
- Avoid all social media.
- Leave magazines other than National Geographic alone.
Yes, I lived this life growing up. My parents transitioned me into a public high school to begin the process of becoming an adult, but by that time I was already years behind my peers when it came to the celebrities they knew, the music they loved, the movies they memorized, and especially the clothes they wore. I spent a lot of time feeling very far removed from their experiences and their knowledge. Not to mention incredibly behind the curve.
Oh, sure, I had better grades than most of my fellow students, and I certainly possessed enough Bible knowledge to out-answer anybody in my church youth group. Nevertheless, these were not advantages when it came to pop culture. Whenever somebody brought up a song or a movie line of something famous, my mind would go blank (and I’m sure my face as well) and I would feel out of place.
During and after college, I gradually started to venture out into movies at the Red Box, TV shows on Netflix, music on the radio, the occasional magazine at the hair salon, my Facebook news feed, and country bars. It has been an interesting and spotty education at best.
However, I don’t think I would go back and change any of it. If anything, I get to have so much fun watching Friends for the first time through, discovering new music from different genres and decades (yes, I just listened to Eminem for the first time the other day, don’t judge), and especially developing my individualized fashion based on current trends.
It’s been a blast of a journey so far, and I’m excited for all of the new things still to be experienced. As for the bubble of my childhood, I’m grateful. From it, I have something precious that nobody can take away from me.
The power of a fresh perspective.