c/o The Afterlife
Dear Steve Jobs,
I just wanted to let you know that my eight year old finally saved up enough money for an iPad mini. I’m unsure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I admire her ability to stick with it for so long, putting all her birthday money and pocket money etc into an old jar. Even when her younger brother reached his (somewhat less ambitious) target several months ago, she managed to resist the temptation to break into the fund.
But here I stand, parent of a new generation, who are connected to everyone and everything in the world almost as soon as they can grasp a device in their chubby little fingers. And it’s daunting. This fear and worry is a part of the parental package that I could do without. I feel like one of those tiny communities who railed against bicycles, when they first enabled teenagers to travel greater distances than ever thought possible for the purposes of socialising, general merriment and possibly, activities that were frowned upon or dangerous and would lead to loss of reputations and/or lives.
Then I look at how my kids use these things – how much is opened to them by this connection. And I think back to the finite and very biased information that was available to me at their age. And that really is the key to this, isn’t it? Understanding the nature of the connections we make. Being prepared to interrogate and cross-check the information we find. Learning from day one that there is a universe of information, but a far smaller amount of truth.
So, now I’ve got to somehow open the door for this butterfly to find her way in this infinite new world….. and make sure that she doesn’t hit any fly-paper on the way out.
Wish me luck.