Kids and parents fight. They fight over which clothes the kids are going to wear, which snacks (and how much) the kids are going to eat, how late they can stay out, etc, etc.
With the technological innovations that continue to become a part of our main culture kids and parents have one more thing to fight about. When they get to use the computer, how much freedom they get with social networks like MySpace and Facebook, IM (if the parents understand WHAT IM is), etc, etc.
The more things change – the more they stay the same: technological advancements are widening the divide between adult children (aged 20 – 40) and their parents (aged 40 – 80). The main difference is the nature of the fights. Instead of a push for Independence, its a push to get the old folks’ up to technological speed with devices and software that is now considered a normal part of society — like using a microwave.
My own father is a great example of this. He is a very robust 82-year-old who had a flourishing career as an Engineer before retirement. Now, his main use of a computer includes playing solitaire. He very happily played solitaire on his computer until it was 10 years old. Until 2 years ago, he was still surfing the ‘net on dial-up (I didn’t know that was even possible). I can even safely write in this post that my dad is a boogerhead (he really isn’t, and I love him) because he will never read this. I could email him the link and he still will never see this. He won’t read his email. Don’t get me started about Facebook.
The kids’ frustration levels combine with the parents’ aggravation levels to create a whole new realm of parent-child conflict.
“You move too fast!!” The older folks complain.
“You need to get with it!!” The younger folks complain.
However, I found an innovative website geared at helping solve the problem. Kids can fill out an email form and send their parents some very easy-to-understand (one would hope) video tutorials on a range of subjects from the very simple to the slightly more complicated (click-able thumbnail below).
I filled one of these out and sent it to my dad with the vain hope that he might one day read his email.