Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Live in the Future...

Nick Bilton, the lead technology writer for The New York Times Bits Blog and a reporter for the paper, spoke about the future at the recent Children's Book Council Annual Meeting. These days, of course, the future is like 10 minutes ago. Nick talked about some of the newest reading technology that's in development, which is all very cool; some of the mind-blowing functionality that is already available on a limited scale but will be available on a widespread scale before we know it; and the speed-of-light rate at which our brains are adapting to these changes, even though, scientifically speaking, our brains should not be able to keep up.Nick talked about the way we will all soon be programming our devices to give us only the news about issues of interest to each of us personally. His countless examples made it easy to conclude that whoever named those born in the 70s, 80s and 90s the "Me Generation" was premature.

Our kids were born into "Gen Y" which is on track to become more "me, me, me" than was ever on the original "Gen Me's" radar. It seems to me that parents, caregivers and teachers need to step up to make sure Me-ness doesn't completely eradicate "community". It is up to us to remind the children in our lives that there is a universe far greater than them and a reality far more vast and complicated than their own. It is our responsibility to teach them the importance of community and guide them to be active participants in their communities; to consider people other than themselves with compassion, acceptance and respect. We need to lead by example and show them how each and every one of us can make the world a better place. So maybe we should all think of one community-minded thing we can do with the children in our lives this weekend. And when your community-minded activity ends and you're all back home feeling good about your contribution, maybe you'll want to declare it "Family Reading Time". You can pick up your copy of Nick Bilton's book, I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works, while your kids read books about community: Jon Scieszka's Trucktown series (in board book form) for the youngest, DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book for one who's a little older, The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero for your middle grader, and The Hunger Games trilogy for your teen.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post, as much as I love Nick's book. There's so much to sort through, but it's ALL fun!
    My son is now reading the book. :)