I was reading one of those silly, time-wasting posts on Facebook the other day. This one was a list of some of the most epic failures in parent-teen texting–you know the kind–the kind where the parent is a complete clueless idiot, like the mother who added WTF to her daughter’s SMS thinking it meant “Well That’s Fantastic.”
As I was reading ridiculous example after ridiculous example, I noticed myself formulating in my mind the type of teen who was on the other end of the message – tech savvy and eye-rolling irreverent, yet loving towards their parent. They certainly believe that their parent is living in the dark ages and just doesn’t understand the ins and outs of modern life becoming that uncool drag on their kids’ social life. No wonder kids have exited Facebook in droves, looking for cooler pastures where their folks won’t graze.
This particular post was good for a chuckle, but it made me realize that teens have no idea what’s coming in their future. One day they will turn into the joke for their kids as well. (in the most loving way possible) They will be the object of eye-rolling and impatience as their kids make fun of them for not knowing the latest google-gadget-gotta-have nonsense.
Fortunately, I like computers and online life, so I’ve been able to navigate that aspect of teen life fairly well. But if you ask me about a pop star or a movie star or the coolest rage in TV shows, I will be as clueless as anyone else who can’t competently send a text message. In reality, however, it’s not really any different than when I was growing up.
My generation rolled our eyes at Bluegrass, Country, Southern Gospel, Buddy Holly, and the venerable Lawrence Welk, whom our parents forced upon us. You would never have caught my parents listening to Styx, Journey, Kansas, Bob Seger, Foreigner, or Toto. (They would have wondered how they got the dog to sing anyways.)
So one of the joys of my life, and I hope I live long enough to see it, would be to watch my kids’ faces as my teenage grand kids eye-roll and make fun of their obsolescence. I want my kids to know what it’s like to be uncool, just so they know that we weren’t so bad after all.
Well that would be fantastic.