Are you behind the times?

What does it mean to be behind the times? Have you ever heard this phrase applied to someone? It usually means that we think someone is not up to date or that they lack current awareness of “the times.” But what times does this refer to? For instance, if I refuse to use a computer to send emails to people, would it mean I was behind the times? What about people who like antiques or who still like to buy things they can fix? Are such people behind the times? What if you do not like modern music? What if you have some old clothes that you still like to wear that are no longer fashionable? Are you behind the times if you resist the newest trends and fads?

If you are in step with the times, does this mean you can use the newest technology and that you are up to date with the newest TV shows, pop music and/or fashions? What are the cultural elements of this statement? Can you be behind the times in the US and perhaps in step with the times if you move to another country? Is someone who lives in a less fashion forward area going to be behind the times if they move to NYC or Paris? And what if one is behind the times, can they ever catch up to the times? Are people who are “behind” the times, those who are making a choice or do they simply lack the motivation? Who decides who is behind and who is ahead?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if there was a website that had some type of index or rating which would allow you to see if you were ahead of the times or how far behind the times you were? How far behind can one get? Where do you think you are right now? Are you behind or ahead of the times? Do you think your friends or family or children would agree with you? Why not?

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