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‘By age 35’ is Twitter’s favorite new meme

Can we live?


Stacey Ritzen

Internet Culture

Posted on May 21, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 3:17 pm CDT

Last week, an article from MarketWatch went viral thanks to a very unfortunately-worded tweet that claimed retirement experts suggest people should have twice their salary saved up by the time they turn 35. This is clearly preposterous given that many 35-year-olds who attended college (and god help those with graduate degrees) are lucky enough to be freed of student debt by 35—not to mention that few have the kind of high-paying careers by that age to be awarded that kind of financial stability.

Although the article—which was quoting the advice of Fidelity investments—does recognize that for most 30-somethings this is simply just not possible and that millennials have it tougher than any previous generation, the damage was already done. Thousands took to Twitter to express their contempt and amusement at the notion with a collective “LOL.”

Several days later, Twitter is still fixated on the article, but as the internet is wont to do, “by 35” has now morphed into a sarcastic meme. And given the broad adaptability, so far it shows no sign of slowing down.

Many are using the meme to point out the mundane things most people actually accomplish by 35. Sadly, none involve putting a down payment on a summer home in the Hamptons.

Others lamented the sad reality of adulting.

This one goes out to all the extremely online 35-year-olds.

And then there were just the funny and absurd takes on the meme.

But if there’s one thing we can all take away from this exercise, the following probably best sums it up. I mean, can we live?

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*First Published: May 21, 2018, 1:36 pm CDT