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Think of the Children

James Whatley is in a thoughtful mood at the turn of the year with his first Whatley on Wednesday of 2008.

– – – – –

whatley stork

Welcome to 2008 folks and good luck to you in the year ahead.

I don’t know about you but, for some reason, 2008 seems to hold an awful lot of potential for me. There’s a definite air of excitement about the immediate future as we, as an industry… nay, as a race! …continue to carve out this new digital/mobile revolution.

I would argue that in this ever-changing landscape it is so easy to forget exactly how far we’ve come in these few short years…

But what I want to talk about now however, is not where we’ve been… but where we are going, and what lies ahead for those that will take up the reigns in the future.

So take a moment, indulge me if you will, and think of the children.

MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and of course their mobile counter-parts, are all tools that we take for granted…

‘Upload that, tag me in this… Add me, add me, ADD ME!’

Our entire lives are now, slowly but surely, online… and will remain so should we so wish, forever.

(Apocalyptic terminator-esque wars withstanding)

Our kin will be able to find and see everything… Family trees (post early 21st century) will be easier to seek out…

Finding out who Mummy used to date before she met Daddy will be there, right there, in the depths of your Mum’s mini-feed!

So, what of our children?

Growing up and having such easy access to their parent’s loves, lives, histories, past relationships, photos, activities…

It kinda puts the whole ‘Hey Ma! What did you do in the war?!’ question on its head. More like: ‘Hey Ma, why didn’t you keep a blog?’

Home videos, once the luxury of a rich relative, are now ubiquitous with the advent of the camera phone: I mean; a phone without a camera? An absurd thought… You’ve all got them. I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a camera on their phone, (by all means, let me know if you are one of these people!).

Of whom of you there that have children already, how many of them have mobile phones? What would you say is the acceptable age of getting my first phone’?

(There’s got to be a Fisher Price toy in there somewhere)

Will our children be on Facebook? Doubtful say some – ‘Surely facebook won’t be cool enough and the kids of tomorrow will be using the next big thing’ is something that has been said to me before. Well – irrespective of your POV on that question…

Some parents are already setting up new blog accounts for their newborns. They’re chronicling everything from the first photo in the womb to little one’s first steps and first words.

How will our children cope with this new way of keeping personal history?

Answer: They just WILL.

Having never known any different…

However, one does wonder, in the years to come when the newborns of the late noughties find their way into school, will a new elite group be the rage in the playground? The Facebook Kids — whose parents embraced this new digital wave completely, and used it to track the entirety of their youngling’s lives to date…

And when the time comes, will these ‘Blog-Babies’ be given the logins to their blog like some twisted digital version of the keys to their first car? Or the first $100 from their lifelong trust fund? Of course, but only when they come of age, so to speak.

Could the parents become precious over this personal history?

‘My child ruined/deleted his blog’ is a Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle show waiting to happen…

So why am I talking about this here? Here at SMS Text News. Where’s the mobile angle?

These digital worlds are converging. We all know it. We can all see it. And judging by the results from Ewan’s recent reader survey – there are some very powerful people that read this site.

Not only powerful people but also intelligent people; people with something to say.

Dear SMS Text News reader, I know this is a lot to think over, but I am genuinely interested…

What are your thoughts?

For me the adventure is amazing, but it’s the destination which holds such interest.

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