Most People Shouldn't Speak Aloud Until They Are 30

A modest proposal.

Young hispanic man holding nachos potato chips covering mouth with hand, shocked and afraid for mist...
eternal truths

I know you’ve seen the title of this post and I’ll say first that this is not true for all people. Significant public figures who met their end before 30, had they stuck to this rule, would not have said anything aloud at all; I know. In some cases, this would have been a loss for society. The people involved in those cases are exempt. I have several coworkers under 30. Are they exempt? Well ... I think you’re misinterpreting the idea as punitive. It is not. It is generous and considerate. It is judicious and kind. It is: Most people shouldn’t speak aloud until they are 30.

This is a preservational tactic that has grown in necessity with the rise of the Internet. In pre-Internet times, those under 30 would say unfortunate things and others would judge them, and it would affect their life on a personal level. Then it would functionally disappear. There would likely not be evidence, other than in the minds and opinions of others. This was bad enough.

Now, all of the misguided thoughts and opinions of those under 30 are broadcast to everyone, and left to live on the Internet forever. I’m not talking about cancel culture. I’m talking about me having to read a 26-year-old saying something like, “I’ll put anything in a mug. I’ll put cereal in a mug. I’ll put wine in a mug. I’m all over the place with my mugs,” while I think: Why did no one stop her? Doesn’t anyone care about this woman? Why didn’t anyone save this person from presenting her ideas to the public before she was ready to do so (at age 30)?

I write this having, myself, been the victim of being allowed to speak before age 30. Not only was I allowed to speak aloud, I was allowed to write on various public platforms and get paid (small sums that would not be allowed in today’s climate) to do so. I read things I wrote and I think, Why did no one stop me? I remember conversations I had and I think, Oh no … I hope no one else remembers this. But I’m sure they do. These things will live online and in memory forever. All because I was allowed to speak aloud, for some reason, before age 30.

I write this knowing, too, that it is not a new opinion. Those older than I am have likely thought and spoke aloud the same thing. My question for them is — did they write it in a blog post? If not, it’s fair game; and that’s a lesson you can learn at any age.

In astrology there is a concept called “Saturn return.” I know this because of a woo-woo thing I did for work once, when I was 30 years old. It is the idea that, about every 27 to 29 years, Saturn completes its orbit around the sun and returns to the spot where it was when you were born. It supposedly brings with it much tumult, which helps to usher you into the next stage of your life. While doing that thing for work, I told the woman leading it all of my personal problems, which were multitudinous, at her request. Of course, she said, you just had your Saturn return. Things will begin to calm down now.

That people begin to sort out their lives around age 30 is, I think, not because of Saturn. But if Saturn is what it takes to get you on board with this idea, so be it. The fact remains that around 30 is when most people have accrued enough life experience to begin making sound decisions. One among them is the decision of what to say aloud. Let’s leave it to them. And to the rest, we give the gift of peace and silence.

(And youth.)