Every time I’m out in public and watch kids I think about the difference today’s technology will make in the lives of tomorrow’s kids.  With kids rushing to emulate the lives of adults and childhood getting shorter will it be wiped out? Every time I see a baby garbed in black leather (with young parents that think it’s cool) or a 6 year old dressed like she’s going to a nightclub, I can’t help but wonder… but I’ll leave that for another post.

Since the new century began, we’ve seen so many changes. And when I think about all the things that have passed before me, I’m amazed at how many times I’m able to dredge up a personal connection to the departed way of life. It’s probably why I’ve discussed this topic before. Although I applaud medical advances and enjoy not having a zillion cables in and around my home stereo, I believe the biggest detriment to mankind will be the loss of human contact– it will result in escalated fear and more violence.  Still, I’m giving a social forecast for today’s kids and what the future will hold for tomorrowland.

The evening news: News for kids today is not world events but primarily the mundane aspects about celebrities. The news is on 24/7. And if you’re not home to watch it, that’s OK— it’s on the Smartphone in your pocket.

Books, magazines, and newspapers: Like video tape, words written on dead trees are on their way out. There may be some books—but for kids today, stores that exist to sell them will be as numerous as record stores are now.

Paper maps: At one time available at every gas station. They’re practically obsolete today, and the next generation will not know how to read one and will probably have to visit a museum to see one; that is, if museums are still around.

Recipe Boxes: Why would anyone need their Grandmother’s recipes when its’ got stains and wear and tear from being passed from one generation to another?  You can go online and presto!—a recipe complete with a calorie, fat and nutritional content.

CDs: First records, then 8-track, then cassette, then CDs — replacing your music collection used to be an expensive pastime —sometimes purchased for pleasure or for a party.  Now you can have a party alone on the Internet.  Music is as cheap and as close as an Internet connection.

Film cameras: For kids today, the word film will mean nothing. In fact, even digital cameras — both video and still— are in danger of extinction as our pocket computers take over that function too.

One picture to a frame: Such a waste of space to have a separate frame around each picture, how sentimental!  Gigabytes of pictures and/or video in a digital frame encompassing every person you’ve ever met and everything you’ve ever done — now, that’s efficient. Especially compared to what we used to do: put our friends and relatives together in a room and force them to watch what we called a slide show or home movies.

Forgotten friends: Remember when an old friend would bring up someone you both knew in school, and you’d say, “Oh yeah, whatever happened to her?” The next generation will automatically be in touch with everyone they’ve ever known even slightly via Facebook.

Hand-written letters and thank you notes: For that matter, hand-written anything. When was the last time you wrote cursive? Will the future generation know what the art of letter-writing was or what the word cursive means? Will the future generation filled with materialistic values and a preposterous sense of entitlement practice the grace of saying thank you in a note?

Talking to one person at a time: Remember when manners were a sign of being brought up well? It was rude to be with one person while talking to another on the phone. Kids today will just assume that you’re supposed to text and maintain superficial contact with five or six other people while not having to pay attention to the person you happen to be physically next to.

After Hours: Today’s kids will not know what it is like to stand in a pub and argue the unknowable, in a friendly discussion.  The world’s collective knowledge is on your computer stashed in your pocket or purse. And since you have it with you at all times, why bother remembering anything? Or for that matter, having your own opinion.

Watches: Quaint relics. Who needs one when the correct time is on your Smartphone, which is always in your hand.

Anonymity: Not long ago if you didn’t answer your home phone or went for a drive nobody knew where you might be. Now your phone along with your car and public cameras everywhere can potentially tell everyone exactly where you are at all times. And we call this progress.

6 thoughts on “Tomorrowland”

  1. Lots of great truths. But the future for kids is already with us. How much worse it might get is scary to contemplate.

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