Todays teens are among the most wired generation ever lived. The recent (Nov 20) issue of India Today (you need access code to read this, if you can’t, pls let me know)carried a cover story on M-GEN (the mobile generation) with the latest tech tools like iPod, cell phones, laptops with broadband wireless access etc. It is no more accessorries, but have become integral part of their daily lives. Their multi-tasking skills, knowledge of latest gadget and gizmos, software tools etc mind boggling. You will find them doing their homeworks while talking on the phone, SMS-ing, surfing the Net, listening to music and watching TV-all at the same time.
Is this obession a positive trait or will it haunt them? Views differ depend on whom you ask. Can we let our children grow up without these skills that are becoming essential not just for make a living, but for the very life in the 21st century. But when kids are spending 8-10 hrs a day (as reported in the above story), that is quite alaraming.
Media has become the message and the rite of passage. They are being defined and owned by tech driven mass media. When their sense of identity, friendship, community, role models, morality etc are shaped by this new media world, it become utmost essentilal for parents and youth leaders to stay current. Or we may never have the vocabulary to decisively engage with teens of our times.
Wired or wierd?