My son imposes YouTube videos on me every day. I think it’s his way of keeping me from sliding completely into the pile of those who are hopelessly Not With It. Sorry to say, his efforts are futile since I’ve always found the other people in that particular pile to be fascinating.
Sure, sometimes I complain. I once whined about wasting a few perfectly good minutes on a video of a toothless Finnish man gleefully washing his face.
But I’m learning about my son as we watch YouTube together. I see what interests him and more importantly, recognize some of his strengths. I’m heartened to notice that he has built up a strong immunity to the relentless advertising that surrounds all of us. He prefers parodies of hype to the hype itself. For example, he showed me the trailer for Halo: Reach. Not the standard trailer. He prefers the one re-narrated by Toby Turner which literally describes what’s on the screen. Pretty funny. Pretty much like the narration we do for ads as we fast forward around here.
I wouldn’t mind (heck I wouldn’t recognize) if my kids are Not With It. But it’s terribly important to me that they feel free to follow their interests. Well, as long as that doesn’t involve losing their teeth and moving to Finland.
Laura Grace Weldon is the author of a poetry collection titled Tending as well as Free Range Learning, a handbook of natural learning. She lives on a small farm with her family where she's working on her new project, Subversive Cooking.com. and blogging optimistically.