“Up With Grups: The Ascendant Breed of Grown-Ups Who Are Redefining Adulthood”

What are “grups,” you might ask? It’s from the original Star Trek:

“Grups” is a nerdy reference to an old Star Trek episode in which Kirk and crew land on a planet run entirely by kids, who call grown-ups “grups.” All the adults have been killed off by a terrible virus, which also slows the natural aging process, so the kids are trapped in a state of extended prepubescence. They will never grow up. And they are running the show.

It seems that “grups” are taking over Earth now too:

This is an obituary for the generation gap. It is a story about 40-year-old men and women who look, talk, act, and dress like people who are 22 years old. It’s not about a fad but about a phenomenon that looks to be permanent.

It seems that forty-somethings wearing jeans and sneakers, refusing to shave (and proud of it), listening to iPods, playing computer games, quitting office jobs to work for themselves — generally refusing to do what their parents referred to as “grow up” — are becoming common enough that we need words to describe them.

(I almost qualify as one. I always wear jeans and sneakers, have worn a full beard for decades, listen to an iPod while walking or mowing the lawn, play computer games several times a week, have made my living working for myself from a home office for the last twelve years, and proudly wear a t-shirt that says “growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.” I’m not quite as “hip” as the article describes though… I usually get up early these days, and there’s a lot of modern music that I hear that I don’t care for, for instance.)

The article is well worth a read, no matter what your age or “grupness.”


  1. I play computer games, but sold my iPod a while back when I found it redundant since I have a phone that does the same thing. I also don’t shave, but that’s mostly for religious reasons. (Orthodox Jew, and even if I chose to use a shaver or depilatory, I’d have to quit during Sefira and the Three Weeks and walk around with stubble, so why bother?)

      • I’ve thought of getting the new iPod Touch 5th gen model (one without the back facing camera, which is cheaper than the prior 5th gen models), it’s very tempting just to have the iOS ecosystem for games. Or maybe a refurbished 4th gen model from store.apple.com’s refurbished selection, are there any good games that don’t run on the 4th gen that only run, or perhaps only run well, on the 5th gen?

        Also, is iOS7 going to be more resource intensive is another question I have, I don’t want to end up like the iPhone 3g owners (and the iPod equivalent) when iOS upgrades made it too slow. (You probably can’t answer that question, as only people in Apple can answer that, and the Steve Jobs Retribution clause of the contract says that Apple pushes you off the roof of the Foxconn factory if you talk. 😉 )

        • I haven’t paid much attention to new iOS games in a while, but I don’t think there’s anything that requires a fifth-generation device to run. It’s generally the OS that dictates whether a program will run, rather than the hardware. Mine (fourth-generation) is a little slow on some things, but otherwise works fine for the moment. I plan to keep it for at least another generation, maybe two, if it doesn’t die.

          • I guess the main reason then why one would want the 5th gen is video. Larger screen, and uses IPS panels like iPhones from 4 on and the iPad, rather than the cheaper TFT technology. Of course, I don’t really plan to watch much video on an iPod, maybe an iPhone I would, because I YouTube occasionally on my Android phone. I have thought about it tho, and don’t plan on, at least in the near term, getting an iPod Touch. I might get one after my birthday if I have the cash, but even then, maybe not. I have so many other things to save for or to spend on rather than a mostly redundant device at this point. I’ll have to see what’s out there for iOS that interests me.

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