When I was little grown-ups would say things like “When you’re my age you’ll be doing this too” when they were doing certain things like faxing paperwork.2013-07-14 16.33.27

These days I’m in my mid twenties and can see my niece growing up. She recently turned six and is finally getting to the stage where I can vaguely have a conversation with her, even if it barely hangs together. Hopefully in another year or so she’ll be able to understand nonsense humour a little better – I can be quite funny if the audience is capable of grasping non-jokes!

Anyway, she’s growing up in a world that is changing far faster than the one I grew up in. That said the world I experienced still advanced much more quickly than the generation before me. She and her peers have never lived in a world without high speed internet access, for example.

This post isn’t really about the pace of change though, I feel that’s been talked to death to some extent. I’m more concerned with this idea of adults telling children to expect the problems they’re facing to be the same ones the kids will have to deal with when they come of age. Lucy’s world will, in all likelihood, be very different from the one I’m experiencing. The best we can do is teach them problem solving skills and encourage them to adapt quickly, I guess.

The way this stands out for me is that my parents drive cars. I’m a grown up, I have a license, but the world in which driving is normal for me doesn’t seem to have materialised. High costs and wages that haven’t increased with inflation have left that world out of reach for many of us.

On the other hand we do have much better access to public transport and cycling seems to be much easier and safer these days. Who knows what it’ll be like in another fifteen years?

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