Well, this is my first blog post from my new iPod touch. I have to say that once I got it up and running (it only took me 10 hours of hacking, jailbreaking, researching and troubleshooting) in really started to bond with it. Now, as I am tapping away at a pretty quick clip, I am wondering if I will ever want to go somewhere that doesn’t have wifi access. This experience has really gotten me thinking about where things are going and how tools can actually make a difference sometimes.
What it will be like for my childen? Will they ever experience disconnectedness? Will there ever be a place for them or a need for them to get away from their network. When learning is limitless because the very atmosphere is filled with information, it is hard for me to imagine a way to escape.
Do we need to protect our kids from overexposure to tech, to hyper-stimulation?
Well, perhaps (I’m pretty sure this is the best response I’vw got). You see, my daughter grabbed a hold of the iPod earlier and she proceeded to get as much fresh snot on it as possible. She is 16 months old and she already knows that you can create hints with touch. It makes me think tat a lot of these hangups we have about ubiquitous tech are ours and ours alone. We can either impart them to our children or we can learn to embrace their willingness to break things, use them for unintemded purposes, and look beyond the multi-tasking moniker and trust that this is the new natural.
Does it make sense for me to think these these things. Should I be contemplating these consequences all because of a simple iPod?
Is there a particular technology that really will shift us like we keep saying it will? What do you think?
Great questions and thoughts here. This always online world can be overwhelming at times like always being “on”. I wonder though that kids need us as deeply into their digital lives as we dare go. To earn the right to be a mentor is to be where they are. I think when we offer advice and limits to them without understanding their world we lose their respect and the relationship becomes adversarial. Moments like this conversation offer rest areas to reflect on the journey.
In February, Japan launched a satellite that will provide *hyper*speed wifi connectivity to all rural areas of that country and also provide service to certain other parts of Asia as well. More Kizuna details here: http://inventorspot.com/articles/japanese_satellite_provide_super_11016
and here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,142791/article.html
They’re pioneering the technology, so I’m sure it won’t be long before we have our own access and it will be very difficult to be off the internet grid, even if we’re off the power grid.
I wonder if instead of needing to *protect* our kids, we simply need to ensure that they’re aware of another option to enjoying life. Some may call it a “simple” life, but I’m not sure that’s an accurate term. While I’m fully embracing all the wired/wifi possibilities, sometimes that tin foil hat appears on my head, I cannot shake the image portrayed in the book Alas, Babylon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alas,_Babylon, where due to catastrophe, we’re plummeted back to absolutely no connectivity. What does humanity do then? There’s a piece of me that clings to the knowledge of our ancestors; of how to survive, learn, and thrive without any of these tools.
So while I’m for going full-steam ahead with teaching to kids’ futures, I think it’s vital to frequently appreciate the wilds of nature, especially as our children continue to be more naturally connected. Maybe that’s my prairie or my hippie upbringing. I am a child of the 70’s/80’s after all!