Welcome to ageism, Millennials

Apple and Facebook were in the news recently, because both announced that ‘egg freezing’ would, henceforth, be covered by their employee healthcare programs. 

Commenters on this news generally fall into one of two camps. There are those who view it as evidence that tech companies are finally taking female talent seriously enough to offer this exotic and expensive health care ‘benefit’, and those who see it as an implicit threat—get pregnant and your career’s over.

But I see a third message from the tech industry to its employees: Some time in your early 40s, your career’s going to end, anyway. So, have your kids then.

I suppose most of the 20-something tech grads those companies recruit expect to be rich and retired by 40, anyway. And, most wouldn’t give a thought to the plight of people who are currently 40 or older; I mean, of course those people are hopelessly out of date, and couldn’t possibly expect good tech jobs. No wonder no one’s recruiting them.

But maybe some Millennials will be a little disquieted by the message Apple and Facebook are really sending: Even you, sought-after digital natives—forget about staying up to speed, forget about the fact that you’ll be building whatever brave new tech world we live in, in 15 years—because when you’ve built it, we’re throwing you out, too.

I suppose it might be some small consolation that you'll still—barely—be old enough to have children.