Kids are just getting smarter. I think it’s human evolution.
I didn’t use a computer till I was in my teens. My Dad got an Amstrad and I learnt how to type. He was a retired army officer and he had some printed material which he wanted me to type out. It was incredibly boring stuff but I loved to type and hang around in my father’s office so I would help him out.
My not yet 5 year old can use an iPad. Even though I haven’t given him one he knows what to do when he sees one with his older cousins. Maybe I’m a bit afraid of technology and that is why I haven’t given my son an iPad. Or perhaps I don’t want him turning into one of those kids who know the inside out of games but can’t notice human presence. This I know; he’s smart and can always learn the complexities of a computer but not everybody has the people skills that he’s developing now. He has the confidence to talk to just anyone and he makes friends everywhere he goes with adults and children alike. And it’s not like he doesn’t know about technology. The other day I was telling him that I wanted to get a turtle for him but needed to check if the cage could be put outside. He asked me in a matter-of-fact way: “Why don’t you Google it?”
When I was studying in University I didn’t have a mobile phone. We often used to have trouble among the student unions and I remember an incident where some students armed with guns and bats got into a fight and we were stuck in the middle of it. Our bus drivers who were supposed to take us home refused to do so and we were left to fend for ourselves. Having no mobile phones we had to walk all the way back to our respective departments and phone home from the land line. These days you see children having their own mobile phones and facebook accounts.
My first international trip was when I was turning 6 and my mother took me (leaving my elder brother and sister behind) to visit my uncle in the UK. My next time international trip was to France when I was 22 and I was sent by the company I was working in for training. My son on the other hand, has already made 7 international trips already visiting 5 countries and living in 3 of them. It is as common for him to board an air plane as it was for me to make the 4 hour journey from Islamabad to Lahore by train.
My son is learning how to swim. Till now I don’t have the courage to get into the water. Maybe when he grows up, he can teach me. 🙂