I was talking to an old friend last night. Well, he’s not that old, and I’m not either, at least that’s what we’d like to believe. Let’s just say we’ve known each other for over 25 years; that’s some history. We often fall into bouts of nonsensical banter and this was no exception. During the banter, however, he asked if I had ever heard of the recent concept of micro-generations. I said that yes I had, but I had to admit that really it sounded familiar, and that I’d neither read nor heard anything about it specifically.
So what is it?
It’s basically more academic mumbo-jumbo to tell parents that while there was a generation gap when we were growing up there is now a generation chasm growing so rapidly in front of us that we’re going to have a very difficult time keeping up. And what’s the bogey man in all of this? Technology, of course.
Any child with access to the Internet who is older than eight knows what YouTube is. Most parents know what YouTube is, but few understand how YouTube fits into the world of raising a child.
Sexting has become a more commonplace term in today’s media. A year ago, few people were aware of this term, and when it first came onto the scene most parents who had never heard of it, or who had never thought about the ramifications of providing cell phones to their children, found yet another reason to demonize technology and make irrational decisions about trying to protect their children.
The most recent study released about sexting equates the phenomenon to spin the bottle.
So what is a parent to think about this convergence of technology and typical teenage and pre-teen curiosity? How are parents supposed to manage the collision of immature minds and tools that give them opportunities to get into trouble in ways never before imagined? Are the fears overblown, or should we be worried that we are about to lose our children to the digital universe?
One curious byproduct of the video game era is how children expect to be able to master tasks in their first exposure to them. When confronted with a new video game, without reading any directions, an average player will sit in front of the game for three hours or more for the first time playing. If enthralled by the game that session can easily lead to the mastery of the game: beating the game. How many other activities in our lives can we experience this kind of learning curve?
I know that I’m looking specifically at video games, and that these are games
I know I’ve written about Facebook before, but with the recent press about Facebook I thought it important to write about it again. Much of the new fuss is about how Facebook is adapting to its tertiary competition, and keeping up with technological Joneses. Outside of the technologists, and futurists, and venture capitalists who tie their success on finding emerging technologies that will be culturally and economically relevant, the rest of us want something that is going to either make our lives easier, or more comfortable: something to make life better.
So what is the fuss about Facebook, and how is this making our lives better?