Kids These Days Are Weird. I Mean Wired.

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I’ve noticed something about The Evil Spawn lately.Rockin It!

She is growing up (sad, I know).

With this comes the inevitable.  She will spend more time with her peers and less time with her parents (this part isn’t completely sad… but we try not to tell her as to not hurt her feelings).

She’s at the age where she wants to be around her friends all the time.  Sleepovers, parties, movies,  etc.

She even likes to arrive at her games early so she can spend more time with her teammates.

But, I’ve noticed something.

The girls she plays with like to be in the same general area, but they don’t spend much time talking to each other.

Everyone has an iPod.  Or iPad.  Or iSomething.

While they are in the same general area, they aren’t really together.

They all have their own apps.  Or music.  Or TV show to watch.

This is fine by me because they are quiet.  Which is a huge bonus if you have ever lived with an 11 year old girl.

But what will they be like in the future?

Will they continue to be around people but not directly communicate?

Will they go off to college and never speak to their roommates.

Instead of meeting new people as they get older, will they continue to text or contact their friends from home while ignoring people who are 3 feet away from them?

How will they act as adults?  Will they know their neighbors?  Will they interact with other parents?

Even more confusing to me, how will they be when they are old?

Are we raising a group of children who will become the first generation of nursing home residents who sit together but never speak to one other?

It’s possible they may be way too busy downloading apps to talk to their grandchildren.

Of course, by then, there may not be apps.

Or grandchildren.

Because they really don’t interact.

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13 Responses to “Kids These Days Are Weird. I Mean Wired.”


  1. Karen Marcus
    on Nov 25th, 2012
    @ 10:50 am

    What a dismal future.


  2. Jimena Iriarte
    on Nov 25th, 2012
    @ 1:17 pm

    This is so discouraging. I work in a public high school here in Chile, my students have a lot of problems (economic, mainly, but also domestic violence, drugs around them -even they are consumers- ), and you may think that living in those conditions you’ll never have such problem… but no. Every one of them have smartphones and trying to keep’em “in class” is practicly impossible. They never ever turn the cellphones off. It’s like a tragedy if you take it from them… I’m afraid this is an universal phenomenon, and yes, it’s so sad that my brain hurts.

    Greetings from Chile, love your blog :)

    (sorry about my english)

    Michael Smith Reply:

    I LOVE comments from other countries. Your English is fine!


  3. Janet Abercrombie
    on Nov 25th, 2012
    @ 11:54 pm

    Here is a comment from Hong Kong. I work with international students who have every possible gadget possible -and can easily afford them.

    Another way to phrase the questions: Are students not communicating or are they communicating differently?

    It seems like every generation of parents thinks their children’s generation will never “make it”. My parents’ generation wondered what would happen to us kids who watched hours of television.

    Schools have to work differently and facilitate discussion. A colleague of mine wrote how he intentionally does this: http://wp.me/p2iyWL-9x

    Michael Smith Reply:

    Hong Kong?

    I’ve got to travel more.


  4. Joseph Levno
    on Nov 27th, 2012
    @ 10:04 pm

    Ahhh! The comment from Hong Kong resonates with me. Here’s a comment from the Philippines!
    I work in an international school, with kids very similar to those you describe (and those described above)…

    I recently brought in two workshop leaders from a school in China, Mike Boll and Mike Lambert to talk about what they call the Communication Revolution (here’s one of the websites that one of them set up for us – http://tinyurl.com/ce4wtde) – outstanding workshop, BTW (yes, I do get commission if you hire them…).

    The world has shifted and, as educational leaders, we need to shift also. Innovation, collaborative inquiry learning and critical thinking are all essential. Content, walls and borders are almost irrelevant. Exciting, scary, definitely new territory… except for the thinking and reflecting parts, that’s what keeps us relevant.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    Philippines?

    I need more comments from the Phillippines.


  5. David Truss
    on Nov 28th, 2012
    @ 6:57 am

    This comment comes all the way from Canada:)

    Have you heard Stephen Heppel speak of the ‘Nearly Now’?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/mar/18/link.link27

    I agree with Janet that kids are just communicating differently. I would be more concerned if your daughter didn’t want to go to practice early because she was texting her teammates. That said, I’m dealing with a couple kids in my school that seem so hooked into that state that they are disengaged with everything else… So while I’m not worried about this generation, I am worried about some of the kids that would have likely expressed their challenges in different ways, had they not had the draw of the nearly now. The challenge here is that we aren’t just dealing with habits, it seems that with some of these kids, we are dealing with an addiction.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    I love Canada.

    But I’ve never been there.


  6. Janet Abercrombie
    on Nov 28th, 2012
    @ 11:13 pm

    Agreed. There are those with addictions. I’ve been working through a Coursera course on Gamification – which reinforced to me the ease of addiction. The course is led by a professor at the U of Penn. He integrates the psychology of online gaming – which includes badges and levels often used in the social media realm (in addition to games). https://class.coursera.org/gamification-2012-001

    Evidence is growing about tools for online engagement – and the tools are rooted in psychology. If we can understand them better, we can help those who are battling addiction to identify their triggers.

    Joseph, I worked with Mike Lambert when he was in HK. Wise man :) .


  7. Elena Elliniadou
    on Nov 29th, 2012
    @ 5:45 am

    It’s not our kids. It’s us. We interact differently, we are the role models. Our 3 year old daugher knows how to unlock the phone, go to pictures, scroll up and down the menu, use the “space” of the keyboard when wathing “Dora, the explorer”.
    This doesn’t make her less talkative. She also uses a plastic phone to make conversations with her fantasy friends when at home and always jumps up shen her best friend comes in to play or when they meet outside at the fun park.
    It’s just a new reality we have to accept and watch where it is leading us. We did it first anyway.
    Greetings from Greece!
    I laugh a lot with your posts, really like them, thank you!

    Michael Smith Reply:

    It is us.

    And I would like to visit Greece.


  8. navleen
    on Dec 27th, 2012
    @ 3:04 am

    HI Michael,
    Evil Spawn is my favorite! :D Maybe because I can relate to her. Somehow your post takes me to the animated movie WALL-E! With people getting fat and socially farther from each other, robots ruling the world, etc. With all due respect, as much as your generation would like to believe that we the ‘Evil-spawn Gen’ are doomed to be socially extinct, I am not sure if that is entirely true. Sure there is always something new with technology every day, but technology is not all new to us or our lives. We have come to accept it as an inevitable part. But we still talk and love to talk. I would agree with Janet, that its the way of communication that has changed, and not the phenomenon itself. it is important to accept this change and make it a balancing act. Just as you would do with work-life thing. So its society-technology balance!
    Greetings from India. :)

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