Parents and teachers beware; Google is planning to make your jobs a little bit harder. Influencing a kid’s decisions is already tricky, and with Google’s new Project Glass, it may become almost impossible unless your methods get an update. Google has combined the functionality of your iPhone and iPod with its popular features and put them into glasses. While the technology is cool, imagine how much harder it will be to attract a kid’s attention if escaping the here-and-now is as easy as putting on a pair of glasses. Without the ability to choose when to put them on and when to focus on life, the challenge of sitting through a difficult math class or saying ‘no’ to play when work needs doing will get even harder. Right now, most adults are still struggling with the traditional carrot and stick method to coerce kids into following rules and behaving well. Threats and punishment alternate with bribery and rewards to funnel a kid into an ever smaller range of choices—choices deemed acceptable by those holding the carrots and sticks.
It’s not working and it’s leaving our kids vulnerable. Take smoking for example, according to the Surgeon General’s recent report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, we still can’t seem to help kids stay away from cigarettes.
“Most young smokers become adult smokers. One-half of adult smokers die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases. Despite thousands of programs to reduce youth smoking and hundreds of thousands of media stories on the dangers of tobacco use, generation after generation continues to use these deadly products, and family after family continues to suffer the devastating consequences.”
We’re so 27 seconds ago
Our influence is failing and yet Apple and Google aren’t creating cool new gadgets to help us. Why? Because there’s no money in it. The value brought by parents and teachers isn’t measured by the stock exchange and can’t even be claimed by those doing the work, because if done well, the great results are the creations of the kids that were influenced. The value of your influence is calculated solely by the worth expressed by the kids that you influenced well. The glory for being healthy and choosing well is for the kid to relish as he lives a happy adult life. The adults that created the conditions that made his good choices possible, do so knowing that credit for the work is but a footnote. Perhaps that’s why innovators are focused on gadgets; there’s a lot of glory in gadgets.
Influence is power
Advertisers know it. Marketers know it. Google and Apple know it and that’s why they are so powerful. Not only have they figured out how to attract the attention of kids, they have ours as well. The first step in gaining ground with kids is to reclaim our own ability to choose well. How will you begin to make better choices? Perhaps it’s as easy as turning off your smartphone after work to connect with your kids.
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Article first published as Reality Gets Blurred on Technorati.
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