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KGOY - Kids Getting Older Younger

Please NoteSince this was a bit more preachy and a downer then I had originally intended I have included a link to a video that I created and posted on youtube several years ago on memories from my youth to help lighten the mood of this blog 

KGOY - I did not make that up, I promise.

But it is a reality that I have clearly seen, probably better than most since I raised my oldest daughter and son starting in the mid 80's.

30 years later and the differences between the two times is not always fully appreciated by many of today's parents. My 11 year old's are learning stuff in the 5th grade that I did not even learn until High School.

When I was a kid (I can hear the grumbling now "here we go") we had one TV. A black and white with rabbit ears and 3 networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) plus a couple of PBS and the like.

  • Being the youngest, I had no say in what we watched so, depending on the show, I sometimes enjoyed the advertisements as much as the shows they sponsored. One entertainment output to satisfy multiple recipients, the only targeting done was by time of day. (Daytime soaps, nighttime dramas, Saturday mornings cartoons..)  I dont want paint too humdrum of a picture for you, as we also had the hand held transistor radio as well. :)
    • Today, multiple TV"s, PC, iPad and iPhones, game consoles providing information or stimulation on every subject possible and finely targeted at specific demographics.

  • My mom bought us a set of the World Book Encyclopedia's, out dated the moment they were printed. They were the very limited equivalent of my kids internet access today. 
    • The internet is the great equalizer, in many ways.
    • Overwhelming volume of information and stimulation from every possible source.
    • With such a low barrier to entry (youtube, snapchat, twitter, Instagram, etc) anyone can say anything about anything and present it as "fact". This is on display daily.
Combined, these have stunted many kids, and their parents in many cases, ability (and even their desire) to try and discern facts from opinions, just taking everything they are being fed at face value, no questions asked.
  • The same is true with today's information streams, what used to be called "the news". 
  • The most popular sources even seem to build their audiences based upon opinion and not founded in facts, or in many cases, even the truth.

The controversy of "fake news" has raised questions about truthfulness and ethics in what passes for today's news.

It seems to me that today, when the the skills to discern fact from opinion are most needed, they are least taught to and displayed. By kids and their parents.

This has been greatly exploited, across kids and adults alike, and will only get more so.

The capability to now artificially create a video of someone saying or doing something that they never ever said or did is, if taken to the extreme, terrifying!

If you think that the spam calls and phishing attacks that are now used to trick people into giving away their money is a problem, they will pale in comparison to the impact that a faked video of your favorite celebrity or sports star asking you to buy/do something.

I have not doubt in my mind that, next to climate change, this WILL be one of the most critical and daunting issues that our children will have to face and to solve in their lifetimes. Otherwise they risk being consumed by the noise of false opinions based on personal motives and agendas more in line with greed than based on any facts or truth.

Kids are indeed getting older younger and they are so much more technically advanced and "safer" (no climbing over the seats while mom is driving kids...) in many ways than we were at their age.

However, our information society is changing faster than we as humans are and, in many ways, our children will be less prepared to deal with what they will be faced with in their daily lives than we were.

There are so many other urgent things you may be trying to teach your kids. But, where you can, take the time to help teach your children to ask the questions of "why", "why not" and 'based on what".

I've heard that if you ask "why" 5 times you can get to the root of anything :)

My Take Away:  Teaching my kids to think about what they think about and ask why, or why not.


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