And she said “but why”?

At dinner one evening our daughter asked us “why can you eat raw carrots with your fingers, but you have to use a fork for the cooked ones”? What is interesting about this is that the question is representational of the next generations approach to life.

If you do a quick survey of the world that these people have been raised in, you can conclude that it is different than ours. Their world is one that has been made smaller by the ability to access points across the globe with a few key strokes. Global resource preservation is a “study unit” in 3rd grade. Thankfully, Martin Luther King Day is actually a week of cross cultural exploration and Cinqo De Mayo is an all out party. The way the next generations have been raised, includes emphasizes on collaboration and guaranteed equal involvement. They are being bombarded with “branding” efforts that are emotively successful.

I am 47. I remember when the computer became integral to the work place. Can you imagine an office floor plate with 200 typewriters clacking away? We all have stories like this but early in my career we actually used slide projectors for our presentations. For us, the cyber shutter-slap sound our digital cameras make has a historical reference point we understand because we “were there”. The little manilla folders that show up on our computer “desktops” tell us where we put our paper. Our kids call them “files”, not papers.


Remember when this icon was called “trash”?


How many of us really understand what a hard drive looks like?


Last week we obtained a Windows workstation from my Dad. Ours is a household that is swimming up the current with our Macs tucked firmly under our arms. So, this “different” machine with it’s own logic was completely foreign. After we first got it running and then encountered the need to shut it down, my son said without me prompting it (I swear) “What?… you gotta click the start button to shut it down”?

I question what their approach to home design is. They probably will not find much value in a formal dining room or an executive home office. Just to float a few thoughts out there, I suspect the homes they will gravitate towards are much more open to support a communal, collaborative lifestyle. They will use materials that are more honest and less pretentious. And I theorize that the emphasis will be on the experience not the expression of accomplishment.

Pull that old Pentax K1000 you bought for photo class in college out of the closet, and slide your old flash onto the hot shoe and see how your kids react.


2 thoughts on “And she said “but why”?

  1. Why indeed? What’s wrong with these older folks, anyway?

    Yes, their perspective will be and is different, even though as humans their emotions will be the same. I like your thought that as adults, today’s kids will want a good experience in their homes, not a status symbol. There’s social progress for you.

    They will never be ignorant of the lives of others around the world, or of the environment.

  2. Oh what your son said is hilarious! “What?… you gotta click the start button to shut it down”? I never thought of that- wish I did. We have a similar divide in our house. Those who are smart using the MAC and then the others. ha ha!

    “At every crossroad on the way that leads to the future,
    each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past.””
    Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949)

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