Some years, I just don’t want to learn one more damn thing. Most of the time that would have to do with computers. You learn things that quickly become obsolete so that you have to learn something else that… You get the idea.
For instance just in my life:
- Phone from landline to cell. When I was young not every family had a phone in their house. Now every 14 year old has a phone in his pocket!
- Floppy disk – 5 inch, Floppy Disk – 3 inch, CD, DVD, Blue ray, Cloud, Streaming (need I say more?)
- Microwave ovens went from being something on the Jetsons to an every day small appliance.
- Lights: Incandescent, CFL, LED
- Hard drives going from 40Kbytes of storage to megabytes to gigabytes to a full Terabyte of storage
- Transistor radio, Boom Box, Walkman, Discman, iPod, wireless earphones
- Small black and white TV, color TV, projection screen TV, flat screen TV using LCD, then LED TV
- Manual Typewriter, Electric Typewriter, Word processor, Computer, Laptop, Phone
This is just quick list of things I’m aware of. I know you could add more. (And do so in the comments.) It’s confusing and seemingly never ending. We invent or learn something new and then something newer or better comes along and that knowledge or that skill is obsolete.
Does this rapid change of what is important information affect the kids and how they learn or don’t learn? They have seen, in their lives, information and technology, and what is important, change over and over.
So why learn it thoroughly or analyze it?
That’s what alarms me. I see this refusal to learn, almost a willful ignorance justified by, “well I can Google that,” or, “I don’t need to know that” “I passed the test, I can forget that and move on to the next chapter.” No point in learning something you can buy or get off the Internet.
That’s a dangerous attitude that can spread to every kind of knowledge. Why learn stuff you can look up? Why understand government? Why study history? Why ask why about anything?
Then this attitude spreads to physical objects. Not perfect? Throw it away. Get a newer, better one. It worries me for today’s children. They are growing up in a disposable society.
Will the next thing to become disposable be people?
We might want to slow this merry-go-round down before it spins completely out of control. Teach kids to ask why, to question, to value intelligence. Or there won’t be enough creative, innovative people to come up with the next new thing.
I realize that perhaps I’m being a doom and gloom old person. Perhaps things are just exaggerated in my aging brain. I hope so.
But just in case, teach your children about wisdom and history and complicated systems like government. Challenge them to analyze and think for themselves and not just buy into whatever fad passes for reality today. Create leaders who think beyond the superficial.
It’s our only hope.