I’m something of a coffeehouse nomad. I work on my projects in various Starbucks, Caribou Coffees, Coffee Trees and other coffee houses that pop along the side of the street. This nomadic lifestyle leads me to never be really be at home but more importantly, see and meet many interesting people along the way. There’s an odd trend I’ve started to notice along my travels (if you’d call it travels); that of parents bringing their kids into these Coffee shops to their homework.
Now I completely understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve, technologically and what not. My girlfriends 2 younger sisters are still in High School and work completely off a laptop, with a few books (remember those?). There are even some schools that are offering up their own iPads for their students! Way to go public school, lets catch up on this trend. Rest assured, the High School I went to is not up on this trend, because they just got some laptops. Because they like to keep with the times, they got laptops that can easily be used in a Shot Putt Tournament. But that’s neither here nor there, the point is its amazing that in 8 short years every High Schooler and some Middle Schooler work off their own Laptops. Things were a lot simpler in my High School hay day. We had one Desktop at my house, and most nights it was fight to death with my sister to see who gets write their paper before my mom needs to get some sleep. Usually this led to Pistols at Dawn and bloodstains are very hard to get out of the carpet. Simpler Times.
The other part of my observation is the parents bringing their kids to a Starbucks to their homework. When I was in High School I couldn’t wait to get home so I could go out and play, not go to a Starbucks and do my homework. My homework came second after some backyard football with my 200-some odd pound friend or tennis from my much more athletic friend. Strangely enough the kids I see at the Starbucks or the Caribous enjoy being there and want to do their homework there (#hipsternerds). Armed with their Laptops, Graphic Calculators, iProducts and a hefty bookbag with no books they get their work done. All their work is online, linked in with the school from some cyber network of education. While their kids work things out on their, their parents are either hitting on the baristas or reading the NY Times. I hope Young Johnny or Janie don’t have any questions because Mommy and Daddy are too busy forming their own opinions about the world or just plain trying to get laid. Coffee shops used to be such a novelty of me and my group of friends in High School; every so often we would walk down to our Local Starbucks to try out their beverages like we were some form Fitness & Coffee enthusiasts and then walk home.
Now I am not harping on the state of Technology today. I love technology. Without my iPhone how will know what was the first television role Charlie Sheen was ever on (The Execution of Private Slovik in 1974). What I’m harping on is the fact that these parents can’t just take their kids home and sit down with them and spend some quality time with their kids and help them learn. My mom used to that with me to a certain point then she let go. But she would still make sure I was okay in High School and if I was getting it or not. We do wind up relying on our fancy tech products to get the answers and not really making any connections, especially with your kids. I feel like this is going to wind up creating isolated broken people that don’t know how to interact with people or know what the out side air is like. Parents, take your kids home and help them study and talk to them.
With all this being said, I still won’t set foot into a library. For all you youngsters, Google it.