As is our occasional habit, my friend Richard and I gorged ourselves the other day at the all-you-can-eat sushi place. Richard is one of the world’s leading experts (no kidding) in peer mediation and conflict resolution among teenagers and as such, he’s had more conversations with more teenagers than anyone I’ve ever met (don’t ask, I don’t know why he likes it either).
He told me about a workshop he ran recently in which he asked about 35, 10th and 11th graders, to “reveal their biggest fear or concern about the future.”
World War III?
Nope, nope, nope.
The number one concern these kids had was that the spread and use of technology would negatively impact the quality of their relationships.
Huh? You mean to say that our texting, screen-watching, always-connected teenagers are worried about the same thing we are? Yep.
I took this as very good news, and for two reasons. First, because it reinforced my belief that people are people (in a good way) and that while the next generation always seems to be taking us on a sharp turn towards the end of civilization, that illusion is more a function of our aging than of their confusion.
Second, because even in a world dominated by technology, relationship is what really matters to people. As a content marketer (and full-time earthling), I find that very reassuring.
Photo courtesy of EnronsPics, used under a Creative Commons license.