Since the genesis of the World Wide Web in the 1980s, the teenage generation has made it
their own, exploring, learning, discovering, creating, and developing it to become what we know it as today. Our generation has cultivated it by way of sharing, and this sharing has dominated the new millennium for the most part. But why is it that we are so much more advanced, so much more able to use and explore the internet, than, say, a 65 year old grandpa, who clearly has much more knowledge, is much wiser, and has had many more life experiences than an average teenage child?
The “inept adult generation of technology” is what some of us call it, but nobody really knows why this is. Of course there are countless numbers of adults who can use the internet just as well as us, and even better than most of us, knowing how to develop web pages, write code for applications, create programs, and make new forms of technology altogether. But there is a simple reason that we are overall “better” at the user-end part of the technology; we grew up around it, have lived with it, are more open-minded to it, and it comes almost instinctually to us. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Google are among the most-visited sites these days, and there almost isn’t a single person on earth that at least hasn’t heard of, let alone actually been on these websites.
Teens have a motivation to be social on the web, and learn more about it, and how we can use it in different ways that we already are. Skype video calling is become even more popular, allowing best friends across town to connect via webcam after hanging out on Friday night, and enabling our soldiers over-seas to see their families before going out on a rescue mission. With Facebook’s recent partnership with Skype recently, it will become even more popular. We are always on the web, discovering new ways to use it to our own benefit, and believe it or not, sometimes even for educational purposes. In school, we use laptops for to create PowerPoint presentations, documents, pamphlets, and other teaching tools for various projects.
But why aren’t teens learning the more technical aspects of the internet, like creating blogs, writing code for websites, and developing applications and programs? The answer is easy: we’re pretty lazy. Another answer is that most teens just don’t care enough to bother learning these things. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy once you get the right tools to learn it. Technologically non-impaired adults know this mostly because either it’s their job, or they have a lot of free time, which is of course good. There is no real lack of talent coming into this field, but it is a minor problem that the majority of teens who use the web don’t actually know how it works, where it came from, and how the website they’re visiting was actually made. It’s important to learn this, and it all starts with HTML coding. It’s not necessary of course, but if your teen has some extra time on his/her hands, tell them to try creating their own website- provide incentive- maybe tell them that they can create their own ecommerce site, so that they can sell things, and maybe even make some money while at it. They can even make money creating sites for other people!
I find it extremely important to actually understand the internet, which most of us use many times a day. Without understanding what you’re actually doing, what’s the point of doing it? Knowledge is valuable, so why not gain it, especially when it’s right in front of you and easily-accessible at all times.
Image: By Steven Warburton