Things are always changing. That’s normal. But it seems like they’re changing quicker than they used to. We all thought our parent’s music was lame, and that we had the real deal. But the new generation is quite a bit edgier than the last one. There’s something else. I think our attention spans are shrinking.
It might have something to do with the culture. Everything is 24-7, on demand, right now. Fast this, fast that, i-phones, and Droid’s. The technology’s great, I admit it. I’m a junkie too. But even my not quite 3 year old is getting hooked on it.
He watches YouTube videos on DirectV, and even names the one he wants (and wants them now, thank you). He knows the remote does it, but he can’t quite figure it out. That makes him pretty mad.
He can turn on my iphone, slide the thumb over to open the home page, and even touches the icons to open an app but gets mad when I grab it before he calls someone overseas. I haven’t shown him how to use it; he’s just picked it up by observing us. I suppose it’s great that he can do these things, but it kind of worries me too.
I often see kids entertaining themselves with a game on their phone or DS. I guess that’s a good thing, and it does keep them occupied for a little while. But if a kid spends most of his or her time on it, that can’t be
With all this technology, I hope we’re not forgetting to teach kids that it takes hard work and persistence to get somewhere in life. Great DS and phone skills are cool, but they won’t help a kid learn how to answer tough questions in their first job interview.
These cultural changes aren’t limited to just kids either. A week ago, Kathy and I went out to eat at a restaurant, and sat down near another couple we didn’t know. They were sitting across from each other, like us, but they were both on their phones (presumably with someone else).
There was probably a good explanation for it. They both might have been doctors, or lawyers, each handling their own emergency. I hope so, because if the goal was to go out and have a nice meal and spend some time talking together, it wasn’t happening.
And the culture makes it so easy. You can watch your sports team up on the big screen in real time while you eat. If that isn’t quick enough, you can use an app on your phone to get updates with news and scores. You can even get alerts so your phone tells you when something “important” has happened.
On TV, the news has a box with more news within it, along with a scrolling bar with even more news at the bottom. Heck, even our gym is “conveniently 24-7” with members having their own keys so they can let themselves in whenever they want.
I guess I’m getting so used to this new way of doing things, that when a teenager goes out of their way to communicate with me verbally, it’s quite a surprise. The other day, one of our member’s sons came over and said hello, and asked me how I was doing! He’s all of 13 or 14.
He then asked me about my workout, and started comparing that to what he was doing! He was so polite and engaging, that I couldn’t help but be impressed. He had great communication skills, and a great work ethic in the gym, which I’m sure will translate to other areas in his life.
I remember thinking, that I hope my two year old will grow up to be that polite, and work that hard. That would be great. I’m going to try to do my part. Now if I can just keep my iphone away from him.
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