Published on: September 11, 2014
This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
It is a pretty good guess that most of you watching me right now either have kids, or have been kids. (Actually, because MNB does have a pretty good readership on college campuses, a whole bunch of you are kids … or at least you seem like kids to me. Hell, these days there are people in their thirties who seem like kids to me…)
I know that as a parent, I've sort of gotten used to the idea that I'm going to say or do things that are going to make my kids roll their eyes. it's just inevitable. I also know that, as I moved into my twenties and thirties, I was astounded by how much smarter my parents got. I think a lot of us shared the experience of finding that as we became adults, the experience and knowledge gap between our parents and us got smaller, and we had more in common.
That may not be the case so much anymore, and I think we have technology to blame for that. There simply are things about technology that our kids "get" that we're never going to. Which means, I guess, that they'll be rolling their eyes at us for longer than previous generations did. I like to joke that I only have so much room on my "hard drive," but the simple fact is that there is so much stuff out there to absorb that no one short of a certified genius could possibly take it all in and process it.
I got yet another reminder of this recently when I was having some problem with my Twitter account, which appeared to have been hacked. I need to make some changes and clean things up, and I was having trouble. Who ya gonna call? My college-age daughter.
Ali, who is 20, simply sat down and helped me fix it. She didn't just do it for me, but she patiently went through the process and we did it together. (Because we were both looking at the computer screen, I couldn't even see if she was rolling her eyes.)
It made me think that it is okay to be dumb about some stuff. (There's even some stuff I know that she doesn't.)
But what's not okay is not being willing to ask questions, to seek out help from people who know more than we do about certain things. That's not just dumb. That's being willfully ignorant.
Last week, Kate McMahon wrote about how Hershey inadvertently switched its logo to a symbol that looked, to some people, like the online symbol for a pile of poop. And it was correctly pointed out by an MNB user that this probably never would have happened if they'd actually bothered to talk to anyone under 30.
That's a great object lesson, for all of us.
There's no excuse anymore for companies not being vigilant about this stuff. We have to go beyond what Claude Rains in Casablanca referred to as "the usual suspects," and reach out to a broad and diverse constituency when making decisions both big and small.
Not knowing everything is a fact of life.
Not asking questions and looking for answers in a wide variety of places is just plain stupid.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to know what's on your mind.
- KC's View: