Posted by: laughs4dads | January 27, 2010


Chances are, the intelligence of your child, like mine, is somewhere below rocket scientist. Unless, of course, your kid actually is a rocket scientist.

However, even if your child is flunking out of shop classes, he or she can probably operate technology that would stump the guys who worked on the Manhattan Project in the 40’s, or maybe even the ones that worked at NASA in the 60’s.  This is because, in 2010 the average 8-year old has at his disposal about as much computing power as once filled entire rooms at the Central Intelligence Agency.

And he knows how to use it.

Now, I am not technologically illiterate.  That would be my mother, who literally could not figure out how to open the DVD drawer on a DVD player.

MOM (on phone, from Ft. Lauderdale): The man from the store set it up for me, but I don’t know where the DVD goes.
ME: Mom, I want you to get real close to the front of the player.  Okay?
MOM: Okay.
ME: Now read the buttons to me.
MOM: The first once says “rue.”
ME: Rue?
MOM: R-E-W.  Rue.
ME:  Right.  Keep going.
MOM: There’s wreck.  And play.  And open.  And…
ME: Let’s try that one, shall we?

But most people of my generation speak technology as a second language.  We can get by, but with accents that sometimes makes a computer yell its equivalent of “WHAT?  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?”

Our children, on the other hand, are fluent.  They converse seamlessly with all forms of technology.  Their fingers fly over keyboards, their thumbs dance on smartphones, their characters in role-playing games efficiently complete their quests (leaving all parental avatars weaponless and powerless on Level 1).

Our children link effortlessly and wirelessly to each other, often making snide comments about us even when we are sitting in the same room.  And they have reduced actual language to an incomprehensible series of letters intended to explode the head of most adults.  For instance, my daughter once sent me a one sentence IM that took me 10 minutes to read because I had to figure out what “TTYL” meant.

All of this means that children in the 21st century have power over their parents that no previous generation has ever had.

And something tells me they’re not going to use it for good.


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