My daughter doesn’t think I’m cool.
She thinks I’m a geek — not in the good Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs way, but rather in the “who gives a crap whether Picard or Kirk was the better Star Trek captain and besides isn’t the captain played by Chris Pine now?”
This used to bother me. After all, my life is all about early adoption. I have the latest gadgets, know the important cultural trends and participate in All Things Online. Yet to my 12-year-old I’m just another old dude trying to act young — and failing miserably.
“Blogging is stupid, Twitter is lame and Facebook is dumb.” So says the Next Generation.
Yes, believe it or not, appearing out of touch to a 12-year-old makes me profoundly happy. The last thing I want is for her and her friends to take my technology lead.
Young people are supposed to disagree with we “older” folks. They are supposed to think we’re lame and do the exact opposite of what we think is cool.
This is how innovation happens. Not through agreement and replication, but via rebellion and transformation. It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, only that the younger generation believes we’re full of crap and an embarrassment to humanity.
Every generation needs to chart its own path. My daughter doesn’t tweet or check-in, you know what she does instead? She texts, she goes to movies, she reads like crazy. She never uses her e-mail (Zuck got that one right) but she likes listening to her iPod or playing games on the iPad. She talks on the phone and video chats with her relatives and friends.
While I use a social network, she actually has one. She uses technology rather than allowing it to use her, or make her feel as if she needs to be connected at all times.
Of course Blogging isn’t stupid, Twitter isn’t lame and Facebook isn’t dumb — they are important and transformative technologies, driven as well as caused by societal shifts were are just beginning to understand. But that doesn’t mean new generations shouldn’t challenge and change our perceptions.
You think Facebook sucks? Great, then create something better. You think Twitter doesn’t speak to you? Perfect, make something that does. You think adults are out of touch? Awesome, then call us on it and show us where we’re wrong.
Just don’t agree with us. The future demands it.