From video game executives to Khan Academy’s Salman Khan to the old woman who always seems to be sitting on the front porch next door, it’s become a common enough narrative that “our children need to learn how to build and design digital technologies, and not be passive users, passengers in the sidecar of a revolution that no one imagined would affect every aspect of people’s lives.”
It’s not hard to make the argument. What has been surprising is the assumption by parents and industry that children were being taught such skills in school – and the sickening feeling when it dawns on everyone that actually the curriculum has not been monumentally overhauled during the world’s latest and greatest digital renaissance – indeed they were cocooned in a small world of denial.
The impulsive reaction? Ban social media and dismiss digital technologies. Label them distractions. We refuse to try understanding the software upon which many now dictate their everyday lives. Of living in a digital era, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff has this to say in his book Program Or Be Programmed:
The human response, if humanity is going to make this leap along with our networked machines, must be a wholesale reorganization of the way we operate our work, our schools, our lives, and ultimately our nervous systems in this new environment.
This is uncomfortable for many, but the refusal to adopt a new style of engagement dooms us to a behavior and psychology that is increasingly vulnerable to the biases and agendas of our networks—many of which we are utterly unaware we programmed into them in the ﬁrst place.
Resistance is futile, but so is the abandonment of personal experience scaled to the individual human organism. We are not just a hive mind operating on a plane entirely divorced from individual experience. There is a place for humanity—for you and me—in the new cybernetic order.
(via Kill Screen Daily)