Digital-age thinking in younger people

These stories are from the 1990s to 2024 (in April 2024 that was the range).

Sandra Dodd, when Kirby was five and Marty was just nearly three (two days before Marty's birthday):
January 12, 1992

On the same day two related things happened: In the morning Marty and Kirby were playing with Lego, and had a make-believe game going, and Marty (needing to go to the toilet or something) said, "Pause it—pause it." Kirby said, "There’s not a pause."

That evening Kirby was talking about Jeff and Jennifer (who were living in California, where we had visited them) and asking when they were coming to our house. I said May, and then in September when they get married. He said, “They’re not married yet?”


"But how come they kiss? They were kissing at the beach."

So I talked to him about kissing and he said, "But they live together," so I talked to him about living together, and that when people just live together they can change their minds anytime, but if they’re married they can’t. I told him Keith and I lived together before we got married. He asked what would have happened if I didn’t want to live with him anymore, and I said you mean a long time ago or when we were married? and he said a long time ago. I said I would say "I’m sorry Keith, but this isn’t fun and I don’t want to live with you anymore."

Kirby said (with concern), "You would reset 'marry Daddy'?"

Hema, quoting Zoya:
"Kill me quickly Raghu, I want to go to the bathroom."
And another from that family (Ravi's the dad):
Ravi and I just noticed that daybreak is imminent. Its 6 am and Raghu's long-standing wish has come true two nights in a row—"staying up all night." 🙂

So we asked Raghu if he'd like to go to our terrace and see the sun rise. He lifted his head from his DS play, looked out the window quickly and asked: "Is it on?"


Level up!

This happened in 2012, at an Always Learning Live symposium, in Albuquerque.
Once Heather Booth joked to me, at a symposium, that she was there to "level up," in unschooling. 🙂

Renee Cabatic was there, too, and I remember smiles and a realization that it was a legitimate plan and goal.

People do it, all the time. I guess she wasn't joking.


July 2022, West Yorkshire:

Jen Keefe wrote:
Sydney (7) wanted to make sure she was spelling "Girl Scout Cookies For Sale" correctly for her sign, so she asked Siri how to spell it.

I went over to offer my help to make sure it was giving the correct results for her (thinking any number of results could have come up in the search). "No mom" she said "I just look at what I said. Siri types it out every time."

Yet another shift in how I see things and I found myself shaking my head in amazement.

Phoebe Wyllyamz added something similar:
My son likes to skype and game with us and friends. He will keep a google window open and when he wants to type something out quickly he will use the google microphone search to say what he wants typed out and then copy and paste it into his chat. He figured that out all on his own. Pretty ingenious.

I keep hoping to find one of the first stories I had collected. I will tell it to the best of my ability, and will replace it with the mom's rendition if I find it.

At a family gathering (Thanksgiving or something), the boy (5?) left the dinner table to go and play with his cousins. He was gone for a while, so someone took his plate to the sink.

He came back near his chair in the dining room, and burst into tears. When they could get him calm enough to speak, he said "You deleted my dinner."

Probably AOL, and maybe around 1997, but I'm guessing about the year.

Sandra Dodd, September 2023:
Tommy (3, a granddaughter of ours) was playing with a wind-up car, yesterday. Wind-up toys might have a key, but this has a knob. Some others around the house have other sorts of winding mechanisms, no proper "key," so the name for those various things is.... winder? Knob. "Twist this thing."

Tommy called it the charger. That makes more sense than anything. After all these years, a little kid can name a class of mechanical parts in terms of electronic gadgetry she's used to.

Josh Johnson, NOT an unschooler, a comedian born in 1990, in an interview in October 2023 (link below that might lead close to the quote, to put it in better context), talking about drugs which he had not taken himself:
DMT does offer up some form of self-exploration that is a shortcut and a cheat code to get to a place that would normally take thousands of hours of quieting your mind, of deep, deep thought, and then release of thought.
Link to Youtube video: Josh Johnson on Therapy, Mass Shootings and "Up Here Killing Myself" Special on the Toure Show.

The section where they're talking about drugs starts at 47:45, but I tried to queue it up to the part from which I quoted.

I'm not recommending the drug, but I like that he referred to it as to a spiritual "cheat code" (video game terminology).

Years ago in an unschooling discussion about helping kids play games more happily, someone recommended the mom maybe finding walk-throughs and cheat codes. One mom expressed sharp objection to her child cheating. Other moms tried to explain what cheat codes are, but nope. She stood her moral ground.

I haven't found the original objection, but here is some of the follow-up discussion. I like it. It's pretty deep, about games rules and tradition and morality and the peace of children.

Exploring cheat code opinions, December 2008, on Always Learning.