Let’s prepare our children for the inevitable future.
“Tell your kids they can have a phone under two conditions. First, they pay for it themselves. Second, they have moved out the house.” That’s the advice Christian psychologist and parenting expert John Rosemond gave to us last week at a two-day parenting conference. As I wrote in a previous post, I agreed with the large majority of Dr. Rosemond’s suggestions. There are a few I took exception with, especially this one.
Last week, I noticed I was getting low on toothpaste. Toothbrush in one hand and phone in the other, I opened up my Amazon app and ordered toothpaste with one click. It showed up at my door two days later.
Yesterday, I ordered and paid for my coffee before arriving to Starbucks with my app. A few hours later, I checked in to the gym with an app. I tracked my workout with an app.
Today, I used my Delta app to get through TSA and to board two flights. I used a Hilton app to open the door to my hotel room.
None of this includes the hours I spent with my phone getting actual work done and making money. It doesn’t include the hours I consume news or watch the stock market. It doesn’t include all the time using my phone to communicate with other humans.
I have cameras in my children’s rooms and watch the feeds on my phone. I control the thermostat to my house with my phone. I unlock the door to my home with my phone.
These are all super cool options in 2018. I don’t believe they will stay options in the future. I believe that’s the primary way it will be a decade from now. The phone will be the primary tool to do everything I just mentioned. Look no further than McDonald’s who is eliminating cashiers and making it mandatory to use electronic devices to order food.
Let’s go back to my Amazon toothpaste example. Amazon is already testing out self-driving trucks and delivery drones. They already have robots in the warehouses. A decade from, this is how it’s going to look:
You will order products on your phone.
Those products will be delivered to a warehouse by a self-driving truck.
A robot will retrieve the product from the shelf and pass it off to a drone.
A drone will fly to your doorstep and drop off the product shortly after you’ve ordered it.
This isn’t science fiction. We’re more than halfway there already. Which leads me to my point: Rosemond says we shouldn’t give phones to our children. I say that in doing so, they will be completely unprepared for a world where everything is controlled by phones and technology. They won’t be able to buy toothpaste. They won’t be able to open a locked door, change the thermostat, control the television, or even turn on an oven. Furthermore, I don’t even see how they will be able to make it through their teenage years without a phone. Hell, their first car will most likely be a phone too, or in some part controlled by one.
In a recent podcast, Joe Rogan asked Elon Musk when the majority of humans will become cyborgs. He responded, “we already are.” His point is that we all have phones attached to us. All knowledge from the beginning of human history is sitting in our hands. The only thing that will change is the connection between the device and our minds and the speed at which the brain will access the knowledge.
So, be good parents. Yes, there are plenty of hazards in them having access to all content ever created or being able to chat with their homies all day. But this world isn’t going backwards and technology is no longer just creeping into our lives. It’s controlling everything we do. Your kids need to be prepared for the world in which they will be released.