Janet Christie: Lessons in low tech from the iGeneration

Pic Lisa Ferguson 25/08/2015

New Magazine byline pics - Janet Christie

Pic Lisa Ferguson 25/08/2015 New Magazine byline pics - Janet Christie

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What is it with your generation and technology?” says Middle Child to me. “You’re obsessed.”

He’s fresh from a trip to Germany with his dad and is telling me about his techie trauma at the airport check-in.

“He’d made me upload the airline app onto my phone so we could just swipe through, but of course it froze. I knew it wouldn’t work so I had a paper copy of my booking, but what if I’d trusted the app? Useless.”

“It’s always worked for me,” I say, although I’m not sure the hours of jaw-clenching tension I feel right up until I’m sitting on the plane just so I don’t appear like a technologically inept dinosaur are worth it. Why not do like the young ’uns – print things out onto a bit of paper and chill?

Middle Child warms to his theme.

“You’re all the same with computers and tablets and phones and laptops. All the old people love them. Someone tells them about an app or gadget and they go mad for it. They don’t care if it doesn’t work or is rubbish, they just have to have it. Anyway, I’m going to the pound shop to buy notebooks,” he says.

“Notebooks?”

“Don’t you use your mobile for notes? Really handy,” I say.

“Nah, better with a notebook and pencil. If you drop it when you’re on your skateboard there’s no damage and you can do drawings and find things in it fast.”

We should have seen this coming, that the generation whose every first (step, tooth, drink and … well, you’ve seen it on YouTube) is out there on the web, might start turning off and swapping the virtual world for the real thing.

“Then I’m going round to see if my mate’s in.”

“Why not text them first?” I say.

“Sick of texting… charging... losing phones...”

“What if they’re out?”

“It’ll be a nice walk.”

And he’s gone. Great. Now I can get a shot of his laptop to do the weekly shop. As long as it’s charged.

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