Tin Cottage Journal

Tin Cottage Journal

Monday, January 01, 2007


Wow! Can you believe it's 2007 already? I remember when the very thought of 2000 sounded like science fiction to me, and now that we're here, I guess that is what we are living. I can think back to images in comic books, T.V. shows and stories that have truly been fulfilled in many ways, though seldom in the way anticipated in the media. The human element is so much more prominent in the midst of the technology. PLUS, in science fiction, technology was always so adequate and flawless. It always worked and never broke down. Until Star Wars! Star Wars told the truth about "the future". The Y2K scare confirmed it.

Who would have ever thought technologically savy people would have so much in common with village handy men and shade tree mechanics? Or be so young, so much of the time. Now, those we turn to when it all falls apart are not highly paid engineers, either. If they get paid at all, they're lucky to make what an experienced secretary makes, post 9/11.

Raising a child born in 1990 to near adulthood has been a tricky feat. I was so concerned that we raise him to be able to cope in HIS generation, prepare him for the world HE would face. He had an interest in computers, and we felt sure he could make a good living pursuing that if he chose. But then, after 9/11, we saw kids who had planned to go into computer tech careers flounder in confusion as it became evident that computer techs were a "dime a dozen" so to speak, and the payscale plummeted.

Other fields that had seemed to hold promise also succumed to low pay and overcrowding.

Suddenly, I realized we were no more equipped than our own parents had been when it came to anticipating how to prepare offspring to face the future. In their day, you get a good education or a good job, and you stick with that job, and that field as long as you could. Longevity was everything. Now, it can be a death sentence. It became virtually impossible during our adult years, and we lived feeling unsettled as we had been taught that stability was the evidence of maturity and respectability.

I have even more recently realized, while watching my son play video games, surf the web, blog and communicate via instant message, that the very things I might view as time wasters may well be the skills that enable him to succeed in the world he will navigate as an adult. But how could we have understood that all along? We could have saved quite a few lectures and a lot of frustration over the years if we had.

The "play" of any generation will probably turn into the "work" and "reality" when that generation reaches adulthood. My son and his peers will rule the world with joysticks and keyboard, while staying in touch with associates, friends and family via whatever form of instant messaging is the latest and fastest and the most like "being there".

Occasionally, it may all break down, and they may have to pick up a phone or actually drive somewhere. But, they'll call the village "geek" or whatever, to fix it all. Or, they may just blow on it to clear the dust and try again. If that doesn't work, they'll turn it off so it can "reset" itself, or cool awhile. Then, soon they'll be communication, creating, courting & delegating again, with the world at their fingertips.