The Cost of Maturity

Sept. 19th, 2016

Ever since I first started fully embracing my geek way of life I began noticing a difference in the way we do and view things versus how some others do. One of the most pervasive differences I saw wasn't something I was able to easily put into words. It was fundamental, I knew that. I also felt that helped create my happiness and I saw it causing others pain. Still, I struggled to define it.

Then Pokémon GO was released and I finally realized what it was: maturity. A lot of the world has this strange obsession with being mature, responsible, and taking things seriously. Humour, levity, silliness are all very well, so say some, but under very strictly defined rules and guidelines for appropriateness. Making a joke or appearing “immature” at the wrong time or in the wrong place is frowned on.

This is not to say that I want to treat everything in my life as a joke, nor do I think that respecting others’ wishes about conduct is unimportant. Just because I like to play Pokémon GO does not mean I'd intentionally break a social contract to knowingly cause someone else discomfort.

That being said, who exactly is being hurt by me playing the game, or cosplaying, or watching cartoons, or acting silly, on my time, in my own space? Someone once told me my day is made too easily. I'm sure they didn't mean that as a compliment, but that's how I choose to take it. If I still take the same innocent joy in a bird or a cloud or a bad pun as I did when I was 5 years old, then that may very well be a definition of success I am satisfied with.

There is also, of course, a need in many lives for professionalism. I would not get many clients for my coaching services if I emailed them as a five-year-old. This kind of gravity is necessary for gaining the trust of someone who wishes to engage you in any kind of professional capacity. I will always maintain, however, that I would far rather work with someone who, after the initial contact and trust is gained, ends an email with a smiley rather than “sincerely”.

I don't think I'd want to force everyone in the world to begin taking things less seriously and be silly. That would be just as wrong as their judgement of me for my games and puns. However, I do wonder at the cost of such a lifestyle and thought process.

What does maturity look like to you?