I commented on someone’s blog once that had Facebook been around while Zuckerberg was in school on that fateful night when his girlfriend broke up with him, instead of going back to his dorm and creating what later became Facebook, he would have gone back to his dorm, logged onto Facebook, maybe posted some nasty things but probably wouldn’t have created anything. He wouldn’t even had needed to blog about it. A vehicle for his coed hotness comparison campaign would have already been there, all of their pics would have already been in front of him, and a way to reach all of his “friends” would be a click away. (All of this is based on the movie, The Social Network, by the way.) When I suggested this, the blogger disagreed, saying that Zuckerberg may have created something else. While that may be true, especially given Zuckerberg’s immense talents, for most people it is not.
I have a teen son. He’s quite a good student, an honor student, actually, and has plenty of extracurricular activities. But when he’s free he logs on Facebook or plays video games, and probably finds other things to look at online . . . but I digress . . .
After our shared laptop was serviced and consequently wiped clean of all software, I asked my son to reinstall Word and the printer’s software. After all, he hogs that computer the most (and I actually wanted to see if he would do it). He didn’t. I realized later that he didn’t know how, and lost interest in trying to figure it out, because, in the meantime, Facebook and school websites were still accessible. When he needed to print something, instead of installing the software he simply printed it from a different computer.
In the end, I installed the software. Pain in the butt, but certainly do-able.
So here’s a teen boy –and according to the GoDaddy Superbowl commercial, we know that it’s the boys who are computer smart, but I digress (and gag) . . . here’s a teen boy, my oldest child, who didn’t have the patience or immediate need to figure out software installation, yet he spends hours on the computer.
Has my son ever built a website for fun? I think not. Oh, he’s quite comfortable finding his assignments and teacher’s notes online, researching, and posting and emailing school papers to the appropriate people, but he doesn’t try to create much, except when he finds something funny to put on his Facebook page or Facebook group. In other words, he’s proficient at communicating over the internet, but not creating or problem solving.
Unlike Zuckerberg, who said, what if we made this . . .
It makes one wonder.
If there was no Facebook or the like as a ready-made distraction, would my kid would have taken an extra fifteen minutes to click– next, continue, next, continue and gotten a sense of satisfaction from “Congratulations, Software Installation Complete.”
I don’t know, but I do know that he does take great satisfaction in the number of “likes” he’s received on a recent photo of himself that someone else took and posted on Facebook. And I recently became aware that he doesn’t even think to empty his recycle bin — an omission that caused him some embarrassment, by the way.
Years go it seemed somebody usually knew a kid who could fix your computer when it crashed or edit or back-up your family photos and videos, or find a document that you mistakenly deleted. Now, it seems — not so much. I guess there’s no need to be comfortable with basic computer maintenance or programming when the internet works — or you can just log onto another computer, or phone or tablet.
The Zuckerberg’s of today might have a bad date, go home, spend a few hours on Facebook (instead of creating it), maybe watch a movie on Netflix, and go to bed.
I suspect when my kid gets his heart-broken for the first time that’s what he’ll do.
I’d rather he write a song.
Just Me With . . . software installation complete, no thanks to the youth of today.
Next time I’ll get one of the girls to do it.