Down and out and extremely online? No problem: Just enter a new ‘era.’

What does it mean to be entering an era? It’s a way of taking ownership of your own story, even (especially) the messy parts. You’re slamming the door on one chapter of your life and emphatically striding into the next. You decide an era has begun and therefore you are in it. Your declaration makes it so. Maybe you’re in your “flop era” — a period of humiliation, failure and defeat. This coinage has been around since about 2008, though it’s enjoyed a recent resurgence. Think of a pop star whose album fails to scale the charts, or of a grizzled, weary Ben Affleck, struggling under an unwieldy stack of Dunkin’ coffee cups.