There comes a point I think, and I feel I am definitely close to that point, that you stop understanding new technology and just accept that it is possibly magic and maybe if it is either a good or a bad thing dependent on what it is and how it fits within your own warped world view. That does not mean that you do not use new technology; just that you do not really understand how it works any more. You kind of give up on trying to work it out and leave it to the young ones to do it for you. Certainly this is how I felt at the weekend as I was given an impromptu lesson in how to use my smartphone correctly (I thought I knew how to use the thing; I clearly was incorrect in my assumption) by a twelve year old. I was able to follow up to a point, but when he started talking about hacking into it to fundamentally change the settings I kind of gave up and began to have the same worries that lay behind ‘War Games’ in the 1980s. Hopefully the Defence super computers these days still play Tic Tac Toe.
For me, the eye opening thing is not that the kids understand this stuff, but the matter of fact way that they deal with it and the blank incomprehension that people like me do not get it. I think that it must have been the same when I was young, and certainly it was me who would program the video recorder and not my parents. What interests me is as the pace of technology development accelerates, which it certainly seems to do, is that being reflected in the way that we respond to it. Some twenty something friends of mine have confessed that even they cannot keep up with the pace of change for example. Which kind of makes me feel a little better I suppose and not quite as much of a Neanderthal; or at least that as one I am in good and numerous company.
I was able to exact some revenge, however, or since revenge is probably a little aggressive, recapture some credibility. Being able to have a detailed and informed discussion on the history of Batman and surrounding mythos proved to be a bridge across the thirty plus year gap between myself and my new IT consultant. Because simply put, I have had time to read and watch all that stuff over that lifetime and he is only just old enough to actually watch some of it. For once age wins. Or at least age gets to be on a level playing field. Because suddenly you can advise on which parts of Batman’s history to concentrate on (for example, Frank Miller) and warn the poor lad that, in the quest for more cinematic Bat fun he should, on no account, watch ‘Batman & Robin’ which I foolishly re-watched recently and was even worse than I remembered it (any movie where the best thing about it is Arnie’s terrible ice related one liners really needs to be consigned to the waste disposal; that said it is still not as bad as Highlander 2, the only movie I have ever seriously considered walking out of and which commits the dual sin of being both terrible and utterly pointless).
In the end, a happy conversation, where I get to learn something about the technology that seems to increasingly run parts of my life while discussing masked vigilantes. A proper adult/child exchanged I think.