Yesterday was a defining moment for me and my 13 year old daughter. Those who know me know that we do everything together, we call each other Big Mate and Little Mate and we’re the best of friends. On the same wavelength on everything… until yesterday!
The occasion was a trip to a well known electronics store on a nearby retail park to look at buying a new Macbook. The cracks began to show as early as getting into the car, I was almost dreading the thought of the whole trip and Amy was so excited to look at all the ‘new tech’
We entered the store and after wandering round for what seemed like hours looking at laptops, massive screen TV’s, fridges with computer panels on the front, even coffee makers to see what new features they had, we eventually managed to focus on the job at hand. The Macbook display was everything I expected… complicated, pricey (to me anyway) and a minefield of “what if’s” and “what if I get it wrong’s” and “how the hell do I choose which is right for me’s”.
Up steps Amy, in the absence of any available store staff, to guide me through the chaos. Apparently I needed a 2020 model, it must be a pro version, of course it has to have 512gb of something or other and I shouldn’t even dare to think about buying a silver one when EVERYONE knows that grey was the right colour. Oh and don’t forget “you neeeeeed the touchbar Dad, everyone has to have the touchbar”.
After a brief tutorial from Amy about the virtues of this touchbar, I innocently said that it sounded just like a different version of the F keys on any PC and that it seemed…. Wait for it…. a “bit gimmicky”.
Then came the moment, the moment that my daughter, after a brief shocked silence, tutted at me for the first time ever! Incredulous she stated “Dad it’s so NOT gimmicky, it’s amazing, it’s technology at work, its exciting and it’s progress.” Turning away from me she uttered the words “OMG! You’re just so old” and I felt the chasm open between us.
It would appear that what one person sees as unnecessary, another sees as progress. What one person is nonplussed about, another sees excitement and delight. What one person isn’t ready to accept, another sees the future.
I can’t help thinking that the type of people who are not ready for the F keys becoming a touchbar may just be the same people who aren’t ready for petrol and diesel cars becoming electric.
Perhaps these people are the ones my daughter’s generation sees as “just so old!”