If there’s an appropriate collective label for the 5-10 year olds today, it would be Digital Generation. Kids of this generation are not only adept at the touch screen technology, their knowledge level about computer utilization and gadgetry is far beyond that of their parents, Aunts, Uncles, and probably anyone past 30. Take the case of Jegs’ nieces: Danyelle (a.k.a. Nyelle), 9, and Stephanie (a.k.a. Steph), 5, both of whom have demonstrated high level skills in gadgetry. Steph is just beginning and she still needs assistance, like she insists someone keys in the password as she still needs to learn how to spell. Once that’s done, she goes on her own with very minimal assistance.
Nyelle is completely different. If she doesn’t know the password (like when she’s using her Tita’s account) she insists on getting it, and from there on she goes on her own and in the process either surpassing the highest scorer in a game online or in discovering how to access whatever that may be accessible online. Of course, that refers to all that she’s interested in, such as opening FB accounts for all people she knows like her Lola or cousins (who don’t do FB, by the way), and managing those accounts herself. Frequently, these same accounts communicate with one another (which is like normal kid stuff), and if others do connect (like friends of the “account holder” who isn’t even aware that she has such account), she (Nyelle) herself responds. There’s a certain level of “doing it for fun” for her, although if this is done by unscrupulous individuals it could potentially hurt other people.
Right: Nyelle (with laptop) and Steph (with Smart phone) don't go to bed without even a brief online session. They're all to themselves.
Point is, today’s very young generation feels so at home with electronic gadgetry, much unlike their old (as in mga lolos and lolas) counterparts. In just one look, they would usually know how a gadget generally works and would go ahead toying around with it until they completely master how they work without benefit of the gadget’s operating manual. Well, I used to do such thing with the new gadgets in my time but I’m way behind now. I simply can’t keep abreast of the changes. The speed at which technological change occurs is simply dizzying, to say the very least. The thing also is, I keep to what I know and, worse, I’m no longer interested in learning how the new gadgets today work. Instead, I just have to ask the kids. To me, there’s a point of diminishing interest, too, especially if what I know still works for me. I don't feel the need nor have the interest in having to learn to operate the new gadgets. Is this some kind of old gadgetry syndrome, or simply part of the spectrum of senior moments? Some gerontoligists must look into this phenomenon.
By the way, Nyelle knows exactly what gadget she wants and is tough in negotiating for it, too. For example, she says she’d like to buy an iPhone 4S, which, in the Philippines today, is top-of-the-line and still very expensive at about P35T. She’d say, “I’ll ask Daddy Jay (that’s what she calls her Tito Jayson who works in the Middle East) to buy me one. I’ll give him P2,000 and he can take care of the balance.”
This situation is probably not true to all kids especially to those in the remote barangays of the Philippines where there may even be problems with availability of electricity. Still, I’d like to hazard a guess that given enough time, as in perhaps a day or two, those kids would easily learn to use computers and other ICT gadgets. Gadgets are a part of this generation’s ambient environment when they’re born and kids will learn operating such gadgets almost automatically and on their own. Or so it appears.
This month (May), Jegs and I transferred to an apartment because King and Vannie (currently on a two-week trip to Europe) need to start off on their own. To me, newly weds must immediately go on their own. And since King is heir to the Librero abode (house and lot) in Los Baños, Jegs and I found it necessary to move to an apartment while trying to figure out how we could build our own little place.
The place we moved to didn’t have cable TV connection or Internet connection, so we had to arrange to be connected. We now have cable TV and just yesterday we had our Internet connection done. We went for SMART Bro’s Canopy system because the PLDT is taking too long a time to get us connected (we were informed it would take them from one to two months). I’m a bit impatient when it comes to things like this, so we went for Canopy connection, which is not bad for our personal purposes for now. Thing is, we are online.
Right: This is my new work area in our new apartment. Very small space compared to what I used to have, but cozy and functional. As usual, Waku (he's a Shi-Tzu of the princess type) joins me all the time.
Look around in various barangays today, and you would observe those Canopy antennas perched on rooftops, even in high-end villages in the expansion of residential areas, for example, in the CALABARZON region. You may not have a telephone service, but an Internet connection is certainly a treat today. In any case, you’d have your cell phone so a landline isn’t that important anymore. It would be a problem in places where there may not be cell sites, but areas not covered by cell sites today aren’t covered by the PLDT network anyway.
We would have preferred a combination of the cable TV and Internet connection, a service provided by the Cable TV Company in the Los Baños area, but it so happens that in the barangay we transferred to wasn’t receptive to be included in the coverage of the service combination (at least that’s what the Cable TV Company said) so said company couldn’t install Internet connection for us when they came to install our cable TV connection. In other words, Internet services needs to be provided by another service company, which is normally the PLDT.