When I was in middle school, I wanted nothing more than for my parents to get high speed internet. No more dial up. Why? AIM. Yup, Aol Instant Messenger. As a middle schooler, I thought the coolest thing possible was to be able to leave up one of those super cute **<<sleeping>>** away messages. An away message I was never able to leave, as my internet kicked me off-line as soon as you picked up the phone line.
Today while reading to my mentee over lunch, we started talking about Christmas lists. She shared with me that she is really hoping for a laptop for Christmas this year. She’s in 5th grade. So what use does a laptop serve her? She shared that her favorite things to do on the computer are to play games, check email and chat.
Email and chat? Do 5th graders really do that today? Yes. We talked about email, she has two accounts, Yahoo and Gmail, thought she likes to use g-chat to talk to her friends and cousins. We even talked about video chatting and she expressed how much she loves getting to hang out with her friends online in that way.
I’m sure at this point, I shouldn’t be surprised what-so-ever by how children are using technology in their daily lives, yet it never ceases to intrigue me. It’s so fascinating to think how our behaviors stay the same, while only the mediums are changing. Sure, she’s not dreaming of AIM statuses, but she is thinking of the ease of her own device to communicate, an evolution we know won’t stop anytime soon.
At least I can breathe a sigh of relief that she isn’t asking for an iPhone just yet.
And just in case you needed any more proof of the next generation who will lead the way in technology and connections. Be sure to check out the video below.