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gen-x state of mind

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Still getting older, but at least I'm wiser.

Every single person who is in Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) is middle aged at the time I write this in 2022 and only middle aged. No Gen-Xer has crossed over into being a senior yet, as that won't happen until 2030 at the earliest.

I do watch many YouTube videos and read many articles. And no, it's not just about guitars and wristwatches. There are certain things I learn about. Here are three of them and my opinion on each.

The 84 month auto loan is for idiots

The only reason anybody thinks they can "afford" a new car is because the 84 month auto loan exists. That's 7 years. It's a bad idea, but there are morons aplenty out there signing up for them.

My Gen-X senses are telling me there are going to be a ton of auto loans defaulting in a few years. Especially the trucks. Watch how many of those big stupid trucks completely fall apart before 75,000 miles while there's still 2 to 3 years left of payments remaining, with most (if not all) of those trucks with the original tires on them. Why? Price out a set of new tires for a big SUV. The lowest price is about $700 before tax, installation and disposal of old tires.

My car is over 10 years old, but I actually own it. I can claim this accurately because I physically hold the title to the car in my possession. And when I say physical, I'm not kidding. I have the state-issued paper saying yes, the car is 100% mine. My car may be older with dents, chips and dings and not worth that much, but I own it.

Gen-X state of mind: Let the morons finance the big SUVs for 84 months. Drive something smaller instead, pay it in full and own it outright. If your state says "We only do E-titles", bug them anyway until they send you a physical copy. Get that paper. It matters.

I type with one hand on my phone because I'm not an idiot

It's supposedly some great sin to type on a phone one-handed. Most Gen-Xers including myself do this, and I'll give you a few reasons why:

Gen-X grew up before smartphones existed. Television remotes were and still are operated one-handed. Telephones were operated one-handed. PDAs (remember them?) were operated one-handed.

And the part that everybody forgets: We used to operate mobile phones two-handed until they got stupid. A flip phone using T9 style text messaging was a great thing to use two-handed, as it didn't hurt your hands, wrists or fingers to use it at all. It was tactile where every button press made a physical click. Those who were really good at T9 style messaging could type up messages ridiculously fast. The phone handsets were also thicker, which gave proper support so your hands didn't, you know, hurt while typing.

Double-thumb typing on a smartphone is an ergonomic nightmare. Absolutely nothing about it is proper positioning for human hands.

Those who double-thumb type on phones often are headed straight for any number of pain problems later in life. Carpal tunnel, tendinitis, trigger finger, muscle strain and so on.

Gen-X state of mind: I type with one hand on my phone, and if you don't like it, I can raise that hand and flip you the bird; this is something you won't even be able to do when you reach my age because your hands will be destroyed.

I still use GPS in the car

When I say GPS, I mean "a dedicated navigation device", meaning not the phone.

The best navigation experience on the phone is when you have a solid and strong data connection. But when that connection breaks, even for a moment, the navigation app goes straight to hell.

I read user reviews on the Google Play Store for navigation apps just to see what people say about them. One of the most common complaints - and this is for the majority of the apps by the way and not just the major ones - is the the navigation suddenly stops and the app starts "spinning in circles".

I'll explain to you exactly what's going on when that happens.

You're driving and the app is telling you where to go. Right. Data connection drops. It was a brief drop, but it happened. You'll of course not be notified about this. Right. The app did buffer some map data, so it tries to figure out where you are while waiting for the data connection to establish again. Right. Well, the accelerometer isn't calibrated properly on your phone and almost never is because sometimes it's in your pocket, sometimes flat on a table, sometimes face up, sometimes face down. The app "trusts" the accelerometer has north calibrated correctly. It doesn't. It "thinks" north is facing some other direction because the calibration is all jacked up. Then the data connection establishes again, but uh-oh, the accelerometer says north is one way but the data connection says it's another and WEEEEEEEEEEE circle-circle-circle! Around and around she goes, where she stops, nobody knows.

The app crashes after that, either with a lock-up or the whole phone goes dark. Fun, eh?

GPSes don't do this. They stay in one place (in your car) in one orientation and full attention is given to its position while the phone is trying to juggle 10 or more different things at once, and doing it poorly.

When the trip matters - and it always does - use GPS for car navigation and not the phone.

Gen-X state of mind: My navigation actually works and your phone sucks.

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