The Changing Landscape For Kids Born Today

Image via Flickr user nathansnostalgia

I don’t typically peruse the end of the year lists. You know the ones, the top ten news stories or notable famous people who died this past year. Those sorts of stories are usually depressing anyway. As I was scrolling through the days headlines though one jumped out at me. The story was entitled Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know.

Having had a baby in the Spring of 2010, I figured this list still applies and a lot of it applies to my first grader as well. Some of the items on the list were obvious to me like video tapes and VCR’s. We don’t have those in our house and haven’t for many years. But many of the things I have grown up with and had me thinking, “hmmm well yeah, I guess he is right. Weird.”

My favorite from the list is the author points out that kids born this year will never know what it is like to argue the unknowable as they will always have the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. Gone are the days where you can argue about some random fact in a bar with your friends because now you can all look it up. It really made me wonder what their adult lives will be like. What will happen to snail mail service? Will they finally stop teaching cursive in schools? Maybe I should start saving all those paper maps in our closet. They might be worth something someday.

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11 thoughts on “The Changing Landscape For Kids Born Today

  1. This makes me think of the aptitude test one of my sons took for speech evaluation when he was about three. One of the pictures was of an iron, like for ironing clothes…and he had no idea what it was.

    Of course he’d never SEEN our iron! The very little ironing I ever did, happened when he was napping and the iron itself lived high in a closet for safety reasons.

    I wondered if other kids missed that question for the same reasons, of if I am just a lazy mom who doesn’t buy clothes that need an iron. 🙂


    1. First let me say that I HATE ironing and will not do it unless I absolutely have to. I don’t even have an ironing board. My child would probably not know what one is either which brings me to my second point. Being a speech therapist, I have seen those tests and they often have images that are out of date. Stuff like records always got called CD. Personally, I didn’t count that wrong when I scored the test because to me they get the fundamental idea. Now if it was a picture of a dog and they said horse, well then that would be wrong. Anyway, they update those tests every so often and the scoring norms take that sort of thing into account.
      I imagine it is a pain to update those too because like the items mentioned in the article, things change so quickly! 🙂
      Ok, every time I use an emoticon I think of that article

      1. My best iron story: I have a friend who designs costumes and who kept sewing paraphernalia, including an iron and ironing board, in the kids’ art space. When my younger son was 6 or 7 he was at their house and actually *touched* the hot iron to find out what it was. When my friend told me, I explained that he had probably never seen an iron before (mine also lives high in the closet). I will never forget the disapproving look she gave me. And if she reads this here, I’ll probably be hearing about it on Facebook too!

      2. Jen, I meant to add that I remember a speech test my oldest took when he was 5. It presented him with a scenario and asked “what do you call it when?” Like, “What do you call it when the sky is brown?” “What do you call it when people get together so they can fight in the streets with other people?” “What do you call it when your parents stop living together?” I still haven’t figured out who came up with that test!

        1. I haven’t ever seen that one. Those evaluations kind of go in and out of fashion in a cycle. At least the language ones do.
          Um, what do you call it when the sky is brown?
          Here in OK we would say a tornado was coming 🙂

    2. My kids did a similar speach test. The picture that got them was a drawing of a bar of soap! We only use liquid soap so they had no idea what it was!

  2. I was thinking about this today…I drive a ’99 Civic, without automatic locks and with (gasp!) roll-down windows. You know, with a crank instead of a button. So my car is practically antique by kids and other moms’ standards. My kids know to lock the doors before they get out. Recently, I was driving one of their friends home, and I asked him to reach across and unlock the other back door for my son. His response (and this is a child whose IQ outweighs mine by quite a bit) was, “How do I do that?” Remote entry & automatic locks are all he’s ever known…not his fault, or his parents’, just another one of those things that have become somewhat obsolete.

  3. Aimee, we have such similar stories with our 1996 Caravan, that has power nothing. So many of the kids’ friends have gotten in and asked what those crazy crank things are for (rolling down the window!) It was such a novel idea to them.

    Another thing that should be on this list is the rotary phone. I LOVE the classic Fisher Price baby phone, that makes ringing noises as you ‘dial’ it. But kids today wouldn’t recognize it as a ‘phone’, since all phones are push button and cell phones. I keep wondering when I’ll stop seeing it on the baby toys shelf at Target….


  4. I’ve seen lists like this other years, but they seemed to be much more realistic (actually, the rotary phone one I’ve seen before). This list seems to be dreaming a bit. Some of these things are true, yes. But stuff on paper? Books, maps, handwriting, etc? You can be super-wired, but that doesn’t take away using paper AT ALL. Particularly by people born THIS YEAR. There’s a lot of technological assumption going on here– that everyone’s able and willing to go out and buy the latest gadget. MY kids DO still watch movies on VHS, because we have a whole pile of hand-me-downs.

    1. I very much see your point on things on paper. I LOATHE to read anything longer than a blog or recipe on the computer. I can’t imagine reading a book on a screen. That just seems wrong to me. I am a voracious reader and I love the feel of paper.

  5. Very well written post. It will be beneficial to everyone who employess it, including yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – i will definitely read more posts.

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