Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day.

What, you got him something different?

Staying young

I have often criticized older generations for not being with it. As one looks at people today, it becomes clear that adeptness with technology drops considerably with age. But that isn’t what I really mean when I talk about oldness.

Oldness to me means a rejection of what is new because it is new. It means an irrational anger at younger generations. Just take a look at the local newspaper. How many articles have we all seen that tell parents to keep their kids away from those new-fangled computers? Or what about when there is vandalism and it is assumed a few teenagers just got out of hand?

None of this is to say that there isn’t value in getting away from the computer or that teenagers aren’t often the culprits in particular types of crimes. As anyone who has spent more than a week reading FTSOS knows, I love hiking and traveling, and so I value being out of the house. And as anyone who has spent more than a week in high school knows, teenagers are no strangers to vandalism.

But there are problems with these views. Let’s start with those new-fangled computers. How many parents have encouraged their kids to go outside not because they see value in being outside, but because they don’t see value in computers and other devices? Just think about all the times your mom turned off your Nintendo even though you hadn’t saved in the past hour. How many parents would have disassembled a half-finished puzzle? There was no value in our newer technology for the generations that missed out.

And the vandalism. Yes, teenagers do often engage in it, but that does not justify assumptions. After all, don’t minorities make up a majority of our prison population? Is it okay to assume a given crime was done by a black person? So why the double standard with young people?

I bring this up because of Fred and Joanne Wilson. They are a tech-savvy couple who has done everything they can to make sure their kids are up-to-date:

The parents and kids publish a combined nine blogs. They bring a duffle bag on family trips just to carry all the cords, adapters and batteries for their electronic devices. Mr. and Ms. Wilson, both 49, write almost every day on their blogs, which cover everything from financing start-ups and music (his) to entrepreneurs, family and the key to cooking a prime rib (hers).

Jessica, 20, and Emily, 18, have two blogs each; Joshua, 15, has one, plus two Xboxes. When Josh expressed an interest in building websites, his mom hired a graduate student to tutor him in coding.

And no one in the family is fat.

While Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are both nearly 50, neither one is anything close to old. They embrace what is new. They aren’t afraid of technology, nor do they devalue it because they didn’t grow up with it. This recognition of exo-generational products is refreshing.

I just hope my generation will manage to rise to the same level of youth.