Back in my day …

NOV 16 — Just a few weeks ago, I was listening to a couple of my friends have a conversation about their children and the younger generation in general.

Apparently, it is now a disgrace that kids are so familiar with touchscreen tablets and that the world is going to head into oblivion.

“Just the other day my daughter went up to the television and started swiping the screen,” friend A said.

“I know what you mean. I have never seen my niece hold a book to read. All she does is carry an iPad around,” friend B said.

“What is wrong with the kids these days?”

“Yeah! What is this world coming to?”

I just sat down next to them not wanting to interfere in their intense conversation about the state of our youth and the world’s future.

This for me is as irritating as listening to elderly people say that in their time, they had to walk for miles to get to school and they studied at night by kerosene lamp.

So does that mean now that we have improved our lives that our kids still need to walk for miles to get to school?

And is it so wrong now that our kids study under an energy-saving, heat-reduction LED lamp that uses electricity?

Does it somehow affect the lessons and education that is received by our kids these days just because they don’t have to walk to school or suffocate on fossil fuel fumes?

So if a kid today reads an e-book on an iPad, does it make the content he or she receives any different than if it was a paperback book?

My daughter Athena is not yet two years old and she already knows how to touch a thumbnail on the YouTube app on my iPad to launch her favourite Sesame Street videos.

But she sings and dances to the same tunes that I used to sing and dance to when I was around her age way before the existence of iPads and iPhones.

Cookie Monster singing “C is for cookie and it’s good enough for me!” sounds exactly the same on an iPad as it did on my parents’ old cathode ray tube television set in 1980.

The only thing that is different between Athena and me are who our favourite Sesame Street characters are. Her two favourites are Elmo and Cookie Monster.

I have to strongly object as I think the two best Sesame Street characters are Grover and Oscar the Grouch.

As far as I am concerned, technology should be embraced. It would be ridiculous to not allow our children to experience something just because we didn’t when we were younger.

Just because your generation carried a slate chalkboard to school to do exercises in class doesn’t mean that it should still be the way today.

And knowing how to swipe a tablet does not indicate a decay in our society. It just means that those who are complaining about it are old!

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.



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