Young, Gifted and Dope

I’ve spent many years working around young people and I think it’s great the way they interact with technology. If you are a parent you’ll know that children demand all kinds of stuff that they tell you they ‘need’. If you are a conventional parent, you will give your children that stuff – eventually. Not because they really do need it, and not because it will make them happy, but probably out of peer pressure. The other parents that you know got their children that stuff and because you don’t want to lose face you got that stuff for your child too didn’t you? Go on, admit it. Well in the words of Lawrence Krisna Parker (aka. KRS One) ‘Make sure you got what you need and keep at a safe distance the things that you want. It’s want’s that get you into trouble.”

A 5 year old doesn’t need their own flat screen TV in their bedroom any more than an 8 year old needs a state of the art laptop to do their homework on, or a 12 year old needs a smartphone with GPS and super quad core processer and the capacity to store over a thousand telephone numbers. They all want them though – no – they demand them.

If you get your child a 37″ LED Smart TV to hang in their room, they will use it to watch the variety of mind-polluting garbage on TV in between bouts of playing health and mind defeating video games. You may buy them the latest MacBook Pro or sleek touch screen tablet in the belief that they are utilising the latest software to do all important school and college work. They aren’t; they’re either watching porn or spreading rumours on MSN and Facebook – that’s why someone threw a brick through your window last night and left a turd wrapped in flaming newspaper on your doorstep this morning. If you get your child the latest, fully loaded smartphone, that has a music player, calendar, organiser and alarm notifications, as well as Facebook and Twitter and the capacity to download hundreds of thousands of apps that perform a whole host of amazing functions like converting units of measurement, translating languages, giving map directions, first aid advice – you can even get an app that helps you set your own training regime and tells you how well your fitness routine is developing – but most of your spoilt, misguided, little shits won’t even answer that phone that you bought when you call. And as they rise up through their teens, they’ll either forget every appointment they have, or just never turn up to anything on time. They’ll also lose the ability to write properly, because after texting in acronymical, abbreviated, code for so long, they will be barely able to write a message in their own language let alone a foreign one. As for using the GPS, they can’t find anywhere unless you give them money and put them in a taxi.

A group of young people utilising the advanced technology at their disposal to laugh at a YouTube video of their friend Ashley who stuck his pet terrapin up his bum as part of a drinking game and then started crying because its head came off when he tried to pull it out – these kids will go far – unlike Ashley’s terrapin. Although the video did go viral and now agents are emailing Ashley to interview him. But Ashley never answers his emails because he only communicates via Facebook and BB.

I jest to some degree, but young un’s – are you fucking stupid? Your laptops, tablets, mobile phones – such magical tools of technology at your fingertips that the mere possession of would have had you burnt at the stake for heresy (that’s heh-reh-see, not hearsay) a hundred years ago – and all you want to do is update your status and take photos!

Updating your status is less likely to put money in your pocket than setting up your email and responding to enquiries from professional people. Proliferation of gossip only earns you income if you write for a column in a magazine or for some media organisation (FYI – this is not going happen if you never respond to your emails because you’re too busy responding to shit on Facebook and Twitter).

Unless you’re doing it for a living, proliferation of gossip (look up ‘proliferation’ with your Dictionary app… Yeah, you haven’t got one installed have you?) is more likely to earn you a smashed glass in the face one night when you’re out on the town, because you spread some uncorroborated nasty rumour on Twitter about some guy that some girl that some friends don’t like, gave head to in a toilet, and he only had a small penis that looked like Jeremy Kyle smiling. The fact that nobody knows if the rumour is true isn’t important – the scar left on the side of your face after getting viciously glassed and having the wound stitched up by a tired and irritated doctor in ER will be pretty important though.

Charging your phone helps to make the battery power increase which makes your phone work. Not losing your phone helps you to use it.

If you’re a parent with a child and you buy that kid some expensive phone that does all manner of magical, wondrous things, but he/she never answers it, is always late for everything and has his/her head buried into it 24/7 – take it off them and give them a £10 burner. Better still, take it off them, smash it into a thousand pieces, take a photo of those pieces with your smartphone and share those photos with your friends and theirs on Twitter and Facebook – that’s if you know how. The agony of your child not being able to share in this distribution of banality will have the same affect as torture, and you will be in a great position to coerce your child into doing all those things the little shit should do for you anyway. That’s unless they go all Columbine on yo’ ass and then you’re in trouble.