On Fidget Spinners and iPads and Kids These Days

Posted on Posted in Freedom, Trusting Children, Unschooling Blog

Every generation loves to whine about “kids these days”. It used to be that comic books were going to rot their minds. Elvis Presley was leading us all straight to hell. Then they complained about TV and video games. Today, people love to complain about iPads and texting, saying that kids need “screen free” time. But last year, when kids started getting into water bottle flipping, something that is most definitely done without screens unless they are recording their tricks for YouTube, complainers still complained.

Now there are fidget spinners. If you aren’t familiar with them, here you go.

Kids love them. Unfortunately, articles such as this one try to convince people that they’re bad.

Those who whine and complain about kids these days don’t realize that what they’re really saying is this: “This is a new thing. I don’t like new things, because new things make me uncomfortable. These new things are changing the way the world is, and that makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want change. Change is scaring me. It is the unknown. The world isn’t what it was twenty years ago. What if it is bad? Or too hard for me to understand? Better to keep it all the same!”

Their whining and complaining is fear and discomfort.

They say that fidget spinners and iPads stimulate the brain differently and that the ways kids are stimulating their brains nowadays are interfering with the way schools teach. Well…sure!

Kids’ brains are working differently than the way kids’ brains worked fifty years ago. They are learning more quickly. They are adapting to what the real world is and will be for them.

This is the generation whose cars will drive themselves. Robots will do more and more tasks once performed by humans.

The author in the article I linked to above talks about the real world. I think what she meant was the world when she grew up. She wants things to stay the same. Because right now, in the real world, in some cities (and it’s going to expand everywhere), you can order your groceries and have them delivered by drone in an hour. Right now, robots are performing heart surgery. Right now, amputees are being given bionic arms they can control with their minds.

For as long as I can remember, people have talked about the need to get away from big corporations. Things are moving in that direction. Brick and mortar retail stores are going out of businesses left and right (and people complain about that too, of course). Jobs look different than they used to. But in place of all the old ways of making a living are so many amazing online business and creative opportunities that require the ability to learn new thing quickly, the ability to jump from idea to idea, and to adapt constantly. Many old folks like me struggle a bit to keep up with all of it. Guess who doesn’t struggle? The fidget spinner generation.

The author in the article I linked to says fidget spinners and iPads leave kids’ brains “emotionally unavailable to learn”. I say that *SCHOOL* leaves them emotionally unavailable to learn. It wastes their time, it holds them back, it tries to create dependence on the school system. It tells them that real learning happens in school and that fidget spinners are either simply a waste of time or are only valuable if they help them pay attention to boring school lessons. It’s time to end the school system that is holding these kids back, because holding these kids back is holding back the evolving of the world’s technologies and new systems.

Kids these days need our love, our support, and our trust. But they don’t need complaining, whining, and arbitrary rules holding them back. We don’t need to be afraid of the future as they lead us into it. They’ve got this.

3 thoughts on “On Fidget Spinners and iPads and Kids These Days

  1. My husband and I have made this same observation time and again. There are so many “voices of reason” who try to tell us how to do what’s best for our autistic son’s future. But, as we’ve discussed, nobody can foresee what that world will look like, so allowing our children (of all abilities), to access and shape the world, in their own way, will lead to far more productive futures for them, and all of us.

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