This morning my husband shows me the Instagram account of a self made Italian millionairess who has made her fortune via Instagram. She just takes pictures of herself, in various outfits, looking sometimes like a model and sometimes quite normal. She has done this for years and now gets paid by fashion houses to promote their fashions. I assume that is how she has made her millions. My knee jerk judgmental response was that she is narcissistic. But that would be missing the point. She is clever. She has made herself into a fashion icon. Now no matter what I feel about consumerism, millionaires and the fashion industry (neither of any, I am crazy about). I have to say what interests me is the fact that she has used Instagram to turn herself into a successful business woman.
You don’t need to go to school to be a self made millionaire. If fashion is your passion never had it been easier to pluck from the overflowing riches of the world. Whether you like it or not. The world of instant fame and online success is here and these youngsters are grabbing at opportunity in a way that perhaps my generation couldn’t. This is how old I am, I had to type a letter and include a SAE (stamped address envelope for those of you that don’t know) to a secretary, (a secretary not even the person I was aiming at!) if I wanted to contact someone who I deemed to be important. Now you can just connect via a tweet, or via Instagram. The world has beautifully opened up, we can connect, people can talk, chat, discuss, it is amazing and it is exciting for our children who are growing up in this time.
My son wants to become very rich by being a you tuber. You don’t need school for that either. Interesting times. My girls love watching other children on Musically and have seen the rise of a pair of identical twins who are very good at dubbing, I wonder what their thoughts are on that? This is the world that these children are stepping into, the world of technology and of showing yourself off on the internet and kids are making a fortune from it.
Then there is a part of me that makes a judgement. Will they still see the magic of a plant pushing it’s way through the earth towards the sunlight? Will they marvel at the way the light shines through the wing of a dragonfly? Will they let the wind whip their hair whilst looking at the sea and wonder at all the creatures that dwell beneath the rippling sunlit waves whilst life online seems so easy and tantalizing? Will they still appreciate a painting in an art gallery? Who knows? But to be alive is to experience life and to think that it all stops because the internet comes along is perhaps a folly.
When TV came about weren’t all the adults saying the same thing? I remember when I had a new Kate Bush music tape for Christmas, my Grandfather in his cockney tones said ‘Oh naaah girl, that will rot your brain!’ I turned swiftly on my fourteen year old feet, slammed the door, locked myself in a room and danced furiously whilst listening to the album at full volume whilst my Granddad banged on the ceiling with his walking stick. Am not sure I can blame Kate for my lack of short term memory, or my sometimes seemingly rotten brain.
When the e book showed its glaring face pageless face, my heart sank at the thought of not ever being able to make that flicking sound with the pages. Did we not then perhaps think that real books will no longer exist and that didn’t happen.
I do think technology is beautiful, doors are opening for our unschoolers, homeschoolers, worldschoolers, schoolers and perhaps ours is to help them ride this wave of technology well, within all the internet chaos may they find what they need. I feel that it is they who are changing the script, learning and education has never been so amazingly accessible isn’t that exciting? The question I ask myself is this, can us adults keep up?