If It's Tuesday, I Must Be the 'Relevant Parent'

Article excerpt

This was the headline of an article in a recent issue of the Christian Science Monitor. I read and wondered of relevancy. . .on Tuesday.

Tools for navigating life in Silicon Valley: Manage time by "chunking," avoid "drag units" at all costs, and if you've got children, make a point of remembering if you are today's "relevant parent."

Translation: Life in the technology fast lane requires doing more in compressed blocks of time, avoid people who can become drags on efficiency, and keep track of who is picking up the children from school.

No one said living through a technology revolution was going to be easy. Now, coping measures are reaching a high art here, where the revolution is furthest along.1

A team of anthropologists who have spent the past two years shadowing a dozen families in Silicon Valley describe its emerging culture. They found that, at its most fundamental level, the technology revolution is altering people's sense of time, collapsing boundaries between work and home, saturating children with electronic gadgets, and creating a fair amount of moral uncertainty along the way.

Such trends will probably sound familiar to families in Toledo, Ohio, and Phoenix, Arizona. Such is the spread of technology and its cultural influences. The anthropological study of Silicon Valley, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, is the first of its kind.

After I read the initial report of this study, I went to a new online magazine, The Globalist, and saw the following quote by a Silicon Valley teenager:

"In school you're learning as fast as you can so you can apply it as fast as you can so that you can become rich and successful by age 24. …