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Thread: New generation losing interest in computers?

  1. #1
    SG Enthusiast Easto's Avatar
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    Question New generation losing interest in computers?

    Over the past 2-4 years my wife and I have bought laptops as Christmas presents for several of our grandchildren. We waited until each of them were at least 14 years old, thinking that this is an age where they're a bit more responsible and inquisitive enough to value having a laptop.

    I view a laptop/computer as a tool. Especially for someone in school. This has not turned out to be the case. I have to tell you, I don't think I've ever seen them bring their laptops to the house when they come to stay for the weekend. They will only be on their phones. When they do bring their laptops they are using it to view YouTube only. Personally, I don't think any of them even have a clue as to what you can do with a laptop, honestly.

    After giving them the laptops I will download Open Office and show them how the word processor works, I'll show them fun and helpful things that you can do with a spreadsheet. They couldn't be less interested. Upon first getting it they will look at me and ask "You can get YouTube on this, right?". After that, there might as well be nothing else loaded on the computer. They could care less. What surprises me the most is that they seem to have absolutely no use for email. Everything is texting. Sometimes I even have to explain to them what email is.

    From here on out, it is going to be Chromebooks only.

    My rant is over

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    My two daughters have laptops and use them regularly... The big one is in college, she does some graphic design and it is loaded with Adobe products she gets through school, she uses the University website almost daily to check classes, grades, etc. Netflix and YouTube are just a side-bonus when she has free time. She started working at the university and has a desktop there, she has one available at home that she hardly touches, and it is usually for gaming.

    My other daughter is in 10th grade, she uses the laptop for assignments, to check grades, write essays for school, projects, Powerpoint, etc. She also watches Netflix/Youtube on it, in addition to her phone. She has a desktop available at home as well, that she turns on maybe 2-3 times a month - sometimes for school work, sometimes for Skyping with friends or gaming.

    You are right that they wouldn't use a laptop much outside of school/assignments though, they are much more tethered to their phones. However, seems that schools do have a lot of online activities, including homework assignments, the K-12 school district here uses student software like "Math Nation", "Achieve3000", "I-Ready", "axis360", "Pearson Digits", "Pearson iLit", and a few others I don't remember.
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  3. #3
    SG Enthusiast Easto's Avatar
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    I think part of the problem is that in my situation they are more interested in YouTube than they are in school. They may not get into college but they'll definitely know all the latest influencers.

    I know that at home there aren't too many rules. They always seem surprised when they're over here and when we call them for dinner we have to remind them that there are "no screens" allowed at the table.

  4. #4
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easto View Post
    After that, there might as well be nothing else loaded on the computer. They could care less.
    (sorry in advance, I can't help it)

    "Couldn't care less"

    Maybe in part a shift of how people can access things you used to need a Mac or a real computer (PC) for, email and youtube and facebook I guess, as far as the youngsters go.
    Now you're just whipping out your phone.

    As far as the utility of a computer over a phone, give the kids some time.

    I doubt they'll be typing their essays on their phones. In the meantime hopefully they'll learn to utilize the other features like word processing and spreadsheets and they realize how useful they'll be soon in their lives.

    That said, I just bought my first cell phone a couple of years ago, but I'd rarely used a spreadsheet before managing retail.

  5. #5
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easto View Post
    I think part of the problem is that in my situation they are more interested in YouTube than they are in school. They may not get into college but they'll definitely know all the latest influencers.
    Agreed.

    Far out of that loop but I'd assume social media plays an increasing huge role in the lives of children, and adults, that haven't the maturity or awareness to process/consider/rationalize/accept or decline what they either seek out intentionally or are bombarded with.

    The news, advertising, facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat, whatever.

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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Us older folks lived our computers lives in earlier forms of interactions. Forums, bulletin boards, chatrooms, online gaming, instant messaging, old fat email clients, etc. Needed computers for that stuff back then.
    The fact that the computers could also run Word, Excel, accounting software, didn't really excite us.

    These days kids live their lives through newer social apps...snapchat, instagram, YouTube, FaceTime, and a slew of other new ones I don't even know the name of (and hidden ones). Heck Facebook is for dinosaurs according to kids. But all of that stuff runs on their phones. They don't need computers for that.

    Computers are kind of old school for them. Many schools just use Chromebooks now....all apps run through Browsers with Google Apps. And a lot of YouTube is required at school.

    I've always gotten my daughter small ultra books...a few years ago a really nice small light Dell Latitude, and just a couple of years ago a nice Lenovo Yoga. Neither have likely been cracked open in about 2 years.
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    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
    ...
    Computers are kind of old school for them. Many schools just use Chromebooks now....all apps run through Browsers with Google Apps. And a lot of YouTube is required at school.

    I've always gotten my daughter small ultra books...a few years ago a really nice small light Dell Latitude, and just a couple of years ago a nice Lenovo Yoga. Neither have likely been cracked open in about 2 years.
    Spot on, my daughter's history teacher makes them watch YouTube videos a few times per week and answer questions based on them. Most of the other school software is browser-based, the only old-school installed "apps" they generally use is word processing and maybe powerpoint (excluding specialized software used for computer programming class in high-school, or other college-level stuff). I like ultrabooks as well, mine is Lenovo Yoga 910, my big daughter is using Yoga 920, the small one an older 13-13.5" Yoga.

  8. #8
    SG Enthusiast Easto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post

    I've always gotten my daughter small ultra books...a few years ago a really nice small light Dell Latitude, and just a couple of years ago a nice Lenovo Yoga. Neither have likely been cracked open in about 2 years.

    I don't think the grand kids are really using them at all either. I know they're definitely not updating them. On the rare occasion that they do bring one over to the house I will always tell them to let me look at it and see if it needs any updates. It usually takes about and hour or two just to install all the latest windows updates from the past two years, lol.

  9. #9
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    I like ultrabooks as well, mine is Lenovo Yoga 910, my big daughter is using Yoga 920, the small one an older 13-13.5" Yoga.
    Yeah...prefer UltraBooks myself....the lighter weight and portability. I have a Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon X1. Wife also has a Yoga.
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  10. #10
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Its cellphones, everyone does everything on cellphones. That being said **** email, I don't even have a cellphone and I avoid email. lol

    Unless young people need more power than a cellphone can offer, or have to type something long up, its all gonna be done on a cellphone or tablet these days.

    Long term if this continues, and if consoles get better, its gonna make things too costly to build custom gaming PCs.

  11. #11
    SG Enthusiast Easto's Avatar
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    No matter what it is that I use, I need a keyboard to feel comfortable. I would rather chew tinfoil than have to type something in on a phone. With that said, I have started to embrace verbally entering my texts and it seems to be working out quite well. I hesitated using it since I remember the days when voice readers were not worth the code they were programmed on.

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