Are our kids teaching us modern culture?

It seems to me that our children are masters of modern culture before we are.

Field of Dreams (Graffiti)With the dawn of the computer age we all quickly realized that our children were learning computers and technology faster than the adults. This was unique. It’s not like our grand parents were teaching their parents how to operate the tractor. Arguably the I-can-operate-the-VCR generation is the first generation to routinely teach their parents practical knowledge needed to operate in the real world.

Let me repeat that. This is the first generation where knowledge sharing routinely went from youth to older people. Backwards. That is huge.

A huge change, but one we can live with. It’s just how to operate the VCR and the PC, right?

It may be bigger than that. Civil society as we know it is moving online. Youth are living their formative years on facebook and world of warcraft and evolving new social norms. And they are doing it with, for the most part, without the benefit of their elders. It’s not really that different from Lord of the Flies if you think about it.

Because we can not go back and relive dating and courtship in the digital age for example we can never, ever, truly understand youth culture. This is a one time occurrence on the planet. So this wave of generational divide will eventually pass away leaving only the digital natives.

And that has me thinking…