Jason Smith

I'm Jason. This is my home on the web where I write. 

they hate change

I have a theory.

When books started becoming popular a lot of old people would have tutt-tutted about all the "kids these days" with their heads buried in books. The youth and weird old people that were more interested in reading a book than making something with their hands would have been decried as abominable. They would have declared that books were leading society off a cliff and breeding a bunch of lazy people that ever went outside and enjoyed the "real world".

And yet, somehow, things still got built. Sunshine still got enjoyed. Families still prospered and grew. Human rights advanced around the world. And now we cannot imagine a world that is not filled with books. In fact, a kid with his head in a book is celebrated by the adult world as virtuous and holy.

When I was 13-ish (around 1994-ish) my friends started getting the internet and I asked my mum (who had come into a largish some of money) if we too could get a new computer and connect to the internet. I tried to tell her about all the benefits of it, although in my mind at the time the only benefits I knew of were chat rooms and looking up song lyrics, and maybe a little homework research could be done.

I was excited when I imagined having access to the internet. It would set me apart from a lot of my peers, enabling me to research things a lot easier than before (we never owned an encyclopaedia) and the sheer coolness of having a new computer in the house.

But my mum firmly believed that if we were connected to this strange "internet" we would be exposed to limitless amounts of pornography and end up corrupted and vile for the rest of our lives. So for the rest of my teenage years until I left home at 18, we had no computer and no internet access. But at least we didn't turn out corrupted.

And also, coincidently, not a single one of mum's four sons graduated from high school.

I have always been fascinated by computers, gaming systems and tech in general, but it was fear held by my parent that prevented me from learning about computing and nurturing my passion at a younger age.

I take full responsibility for my actions today though. I have made a conscious choice now I am older to explore and develop my love for these contraptions, and although it has taken a little more work, I do actually feel like I have a little more social skill than a lot of computer nerds who spent their teenage lives in front of a computer screen instead of chasing girls as I did.

And now when Mum comes to visit me and my family with her crappy laptop and needs help connecting to the wifi at my house, she asks me to help her because it's (strangely) beyond her. I don't ask her how she manages to avoid all that porn on the net.

I have never actually heard an older computer hating person admit "I don't know how to use it because I shunned it out of my fear of change and now I feel like I am on an island and I really wish I knew how to operate this thing." Instead they say "I'm old." It's code for "it's not my fault and I accept no responsibility for my choices in life".

So perhaps for us now, we embrace computers and smartphones and ipads and whatever, but it won't be long before people in their teens and 20's and 30's see the next new thing and say how dumb it is and how much society doesn't need it. I actually heard a 16 year old say that recently about iPads. She genuinely couldn't understand why anyone would want one. I was gobsmacked. Although, she ended up buying one a few months later.

Pause for a minute the next time you catch yourself resisting change. If it's because you think you know a better way then by all means share it with the rest of us. But if it's because you fear change... well, not much good comes from fear.

a built in ash tray

as if you wouldn't