1966 vs. 2006

My sisters laughed when my 11 year old son came into the midst of a family gathering last fall and told a joke, abused me verbally, and then recited a TV commercial verbatim. Aghast and yet amused as he ran away, I asked them, “Was I like that?” They instantly both burst out laughing and said, “Yeah! He’s *exactly* like you were. He’s your “mini-me”! (Referring of course to Dr. Evil’s tiny clone in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me).

I love this kid. He and I have been on six Dad & Son Adventures to Lake Superior in Duluth, Arizona, Rapid City, SD and more. We share so many interests that it’s easy to be with him and find common ground. He’s more of a technoweenie than I am and is bound for greatness (spoken like a true, humble Dad heh?).

Because of a discussion with my son today about why I’m struggling to get his NintendoDS on our Wifi network (I use WPA encryption and the DS only supports the less secure and previously cracked WEP) made me think about being a kid in 1966 vs. 2006 and all that’s changed.

  • Me: Hardy Boys and Tom Swift books. He: Harry Potter; Lord Loss; Interstellar Pig; Dan Millman and dozens and dozens more (man…does this kid read!)
  • Me: B&W television and comic books. He: Computers that are Wifi enabled; Xbox/Playstation/Nintendo; occasional cell phone use; DVD and TiVo
  • Me: driving trips to northern Minnesota and Yellowstone. He: Dozens of trips including Hawaii, Peru, New York, Arizona, California.

The list goes on. What amazes me is the sheer volume of stimulation his brain has received by 11 vs. what I received at his age. Though he’s in the 99th percentile for IQ (must’ve come from Mom) and he makes sure he’s intellectually stimulated all the time, I nonetheless marvel at what a profound worldview this kid has now vs. the limited one I enjoyed at that age.

It’s not just him. His friends are the same way and it’s almost frightening sometimes to listen to them talk about virtual worlds, game theory (though they don’t know it’s a theoretical discipline!) and where to find stuff on the ‘net. My daughter is simply comfortable with all technology and uses it as a tool. She could care less about gadgets and how stuff works and instead focuses on progressive issues and her friends — and expects the tools will work and be there when she needs them. Each of my kids are gearing up to make different yet equal impacts on the world and will simply understand when enabling tools debut and how they will benefit their interests.

My opinion about the acceleration in knowledge brought about by our interconnectedness due to the ubiquity of the global internet hasn’t changed: it’s exponentially accelerating and we’re building upon one another’s work and knowledge at an increasing rate. Will we make the right decisions about genetic, drug and other therapies? How about computer enhancements that require a biological link? I see that my own children are cognitively prepared right now to face the challenges they’ll face the rest of this century…and it helps me sleep soundly.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.