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Midlife crisis age sparks discussion online

By Du Juan (Chinadaily.com.cn)    11:19, March 21, 2017
Midlife crisis age sparks discussion online
(file photo)

When does a middle age crisis begin - when one is in their 30s, 40s or 50s?

In fact, it may begin when a person is 25 years old, or those born after 1992, according to a Xinhua report citing a previous study by Australian researchers.

The study says one of the highest levels of happiness is reported from ages 15 to 24 and satisfaction over life decreases beginning in the early 20s. No one knows if it is a coincidence, but the United Nations defines "youth" as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years.

So you may conclude, based on this study and this definition, that middle age begins at 25, and what's worse, that happiness ends at this point and crisis arises.

Most people may laugh off this study or definition, but not some Chinese digital users in their 20s, especially those whose ages are near the so-called border of middle age crisis. They've joined a self-mocking online frenzy at Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform in China, the Chongqing Morning Newsreported on Monday.

"In a blink of an eye, I become a middle age person, but I'm still single!" one user called out.

"As one born in 1988, have I become a senior citizen? So when will I get my pension?" another netizen commented.

But Weibo user lizhiwho seemed to not be limited to just joking about the definition, said "Mark Bauerlein said that one of the signs of maturity is to realize that 99 percent of the stuff that happens to you every day has absolutely no significance to others."

Another netizen, ruruoyezi, replied, "I would like to give my vote to the youth definition of '18 to 40 years old'."

On mentioning the descriptions of youth, besides the UN's 15 to 24 years, which dates back to a General Assembly report on International Youth Year in 1981, there are other definitions.

For example, several UN entities and regional organizations have somewhat different definitions of youth. UN Habitat, or Youth Fund, provides grants to projects led by young people aged 15-32 years old. In the African Youth Charter, "youth" means "every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years".

In China, also there isn't a standardized demarcation of youth's age limits. But in 2008, according to a notice from the State Council, those aged 14 to 28 years can enjoy half a day's leave from their work or study on May 4, China's Youth Day.

There also is an annual nationwide award for excellent people, the Top 10 Young Chinese of the Year, whose nominees must be between 18 and 40 years old.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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