First, check your tickets. In case you’re not sure if you should be here, a digital native is “a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.”
If that describes your child, then this is the place for you.
Or is it?
Because this will not be a place where you hear fear-mongering advice about screen time or read research suggesting that you are a bad parent if your child did not spend the entire weekend outside.
Instead, this will be a place where we all boldly face and embrace the “future that’s already here” (or what I fondly call the FUTAH – apply New Yorker accent), and parent our children with eyes and minds open to the unimaginable opportunities that technology will make possible for them.
The first step, in my opinion, is to grab a primer like The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, an excellent and thorough guide to the world your children will occupy. It approaches the FUTAH both conceptually and quite literally and is not the least bit laden with the conventional fears that rule today’s playground conversations. It is a vivid picture of your child’s day-to-day life when he or she is you and me. Written by one of the world’s most intelligent and eclectic human beings who has also successfully parented a child.
That author, Kevin Kelly, is worth looking into. He’s not your typical “tech type,” which is why I find his observations about tech so compelling. In just the past 10 years, he has written The Inevitable (NYTimes bestseller 2016), now finishing a voluminous photographic documentary of the disappearing traditions of Asia, and just 3 years ago published his first fiction (science fiction of course) after laboring for 11 years and completing a successful Kickstarter campaign, and oh, the book is a graphic novel beautifully PRINTED as a 6-page fold-out. He also spent a meaningful part of his life as a nomadic photojournalist once riding a bicycle 5,000 miles across America. There is more, but you can explore him yourself here.
So take my word for it. Kevin Kelly is no Silicon Valley guy blind to the importance of craft, creativity and culture.
But technically (ahem), he is the co-founder of Wired magazine and served as its Executive Editor for 7 years. He was very much a part of the evolution of the Internet, and has the benefit of an intimate perspective on it and all the societal elements it impacted.
So pick up a copy (or show off and read it on a screen), and come back for a fun journey into the 2030’s through the 2050’s….approximately the time our kids will be getting (or making) jobs, and navigating the thing(s) we all once called college…not necessarily in that order.
If you’d like to cheat and see my notes from The Inevitable, I have included them down below.
See you soon!