I hadn’t quite figured out the whats and the whys of it all; that took the arrival of Little Man and his newly-opened FaceBook account; which his mother and I had ummmed and ahhhed over the night before.
He is Year Six; just coming up to 11. Should he? Shouldn’t he? etc etc.
So we did. And having sat on his shoulder for an odd minute or two, the penny slowly starts to drop as to *just* how connected our kids are going to be; how this new, networked world of ours, is nothing of the sort.
There is *nothing* new to the average ten-year-old about the world in which we seek to find a living. Or, indeed, seek to find an answer to.
Because that was the big point for me; my boy is no fool; but his school is pure, rural Norfolk – it is why I rail so mightily about the lack of wifi/wireless connectivity in his community; why I strongly suspect that we will have to wait for infinity before BT ever rolls up at his door.
But of his class of 28, there were 15 on FaceBook already; there. Waiting for their request to be accepted. Of the people he might know, there were dozens. Year 5s; last years Year 6s – all busily swapping party pics and kiss-and-tell stories from their first year at the local senior school.
Next step was to start a game for he and his on-line class-mates to play; for them to collaborate together to becoming a bigger and better wolf *pack*; by playing on-line together they would go stronger, more agile, more effective; by playing on-line together they would reach new levels of attainment and achievement.
All of which would become part and parcel of their teenage DNA; they will view the world through networked eyes; long since schooled in the power of collaborative action.
In short, they are learning just the skills sets required to close every till in TopShop on Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas; to cause chaos in every Vodafone store in the country; to hit an ‘Untouchable’ of Philip Green’s ilk where it hurts – in his pocket; just as they will continue to make a mockery of the Met Police and their hopes of kettling anyone in a corner…
Let alone a 15-year-old with a SmartPhone, a #-tag and six-years of game play and collaboration on FaceBook up their sleeve.
All of which made Giles Coren’s Opinion piece in today’s Times – NOTE: The Old Dear has it delivered; we don’t do paywalls – laughable.
“…but it has now reduced half a billion adults to the functioning level of 12-year-olds by creating a structure for living that precludes any sort of personal, social or sexual development.
“FaceBook drains human interaction of all suspense and subtlety, imbecilifies everyone who touches it and has had the global effect of hitting a brain with a brick…’
What a load of sh*te.
Irrespective of where – philosophically – a brick-built paywall sits within Coren’s interactive world of ’subtlety and suspense’, I would strongly suspect that at least two, supposed Masters Of Our Universe - Philip Green and the Commissioner of the Met Police – are slowly beginning to twig just how effective the imbecilic interests of the average UK 12-year-old can be when it comes to collaborative challenges to the forces of ‘top-down’ authority.
See, to my mind, I’d be half-tempted to suggest that FaceBook and its fellow collaborative brethren imbecilifies everyone who challenges it, as opposed to touches it… Coren, clearly included.
It’s already made a monkey out of the Met; and will do time and again next year. It will, I suspect, make the life of P Green a misery – and will every banker it can find once news of their bonuses hits the streets in the New Year.
The other point is the social make-up of those 15 kids already on FaceBook in that rural Norfolk school. They and their parents, I suspect, don’t do Guardian data maps – nor will they ever breach a Times paywall to read Coren’s words of wisdom.
But their’s is the story of our times.
Go back to Hill; read him again and again.
He takes ‘the worm’s eye view’ of the last great English Revolution; his attention is focussed on “the lower fifty per cent of the population” and what for 17 glorious year they threatened to achieve on the back of unprecendented social mobility, the collaborative power of a New Model Army and a ‘liberty of printing’ unheard of again until Mark Zuckerburg and his like went to work in their garages and back bedrooms.
G Coren meet A Marr; A Marr meet G Coren… ROFL..