I’m 24, 25 this August. I still consider myself to be a young guy, and I especially consider myself to be part of the technology boom. However, it is still hard for me to imagine what it’s like to be kid today. For anyone that was born after the turn of the new millennium, they have known a world that has been always been deeply connected. At the grocery store, you see toddlers teaching themselves colors and shapes on an iPad while the mother (or father) uses his or her iPhone to check things off of the grocery list that syncs to all of their smart devices. Elementary school kids have Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of other apps to be able to keeping touch with their friends. They can easily chat anyone from around the world. The entire globe is literally at their fingertips.
Like I said, I’m young, but I still remember a time when there was no caller ID and when you wanted to talk to your friend you had to ask for them when their parent answered the phone. And don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this, this is not a “you know you’re a 90s kid if..” post.
Growing up, there was a globe in my living room. I used to play the game of spinning it as fast as I can, slowing it down with the tip of my finger, and wherever my finger stopped was where I would live one day. Everybody played that game.
I thought the world was so big. There were many other people living many other places doing their own thing, all separated by cultures and borders. Even if the world really wasn’t that way, that’s the way I saw it, because I didn’t really have access to that world. I mean, I could do some book research, but that felt distant still. I had no connection to the rest of earth’s people, and they had no connection to me.
I can pretty much know, through Twitter and Reddit mostly, exactly what is happening anywhere in the world. I can know how people are feeling about what’s happening in the world, and I can even join the cause. The globe that once seemed so unknown and mysterious to me is now available to me whenever I unlock my phone, open my laptop, or sit down with my tablet. It’s literally all there.
So what’s stopping me?
The kids of today have a leg up on us. I, and many others, use social platforms to connect with people I know. I don’t friend or follow people that I don’t know, convinced that that person will think that I am a creeper or something. Kids, on the other hand, and I’ve seen this happen, will friend, follow, subscribe to anyone they please. It’s totally normal. And furthermore, they reach out, make conversation, and befriend those people that they have never seen. And they do this on a regular basis. They are connecting themselves to people all over the world, not just those in a 10 mile radius. Their globe is much less mysterious than my globe was at their age.
Nowadays, it’s important to have a global presence, whether that be personally or professionally, probably smart to do both. In this time of hyper-connectivity you’ve gotta do more than stand out to your neighbors. Recently, I’ve tried to spend more time actually connecting with people on Twitter and LinkedIn, especially those that I have not actually met. This is also a GIGANTIC reason that I started this blog back up. My hope is that through more friendships and connections with different people from different places, I’ll have a new perspective of the globe in the living room.