North Texas Daily

Computers can’t raise your kids for you

Computers can’t raise your kids for you

Computers can’t raise your kids for you
August 30
23:32 2016

The student stares blankly at their W-4 form, unsure of what to do. Do dogs or goldfish count as dependents? No one taught them how to fill out legal paperwork. It’s as if they’re staring at a page written in a foreign language. The form’s easy layout taunts them. This should take minimal effort to fill out, but it’s got the student in a panic. They unwrap themselves from the fetal position long enough to call their mom for advice.

Although millennials were practically raised by the internet, they still don’t have all the answers. It’s a wildly confusing world out there, with all sorts of adult paperwork and questions that no one sat them down to explain. They’re expected to know it all because they can access anything with one quick search, but that’s just not realistic.

Our parents were much better prepared for real life than teenagers now are. Gone are the days of home economics, where they actually taught skills applicable past high school. We can recite the Pythagorean theorem or tell you that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but never learned how to iron a shirt properly. Perhaps even laundry is something our parents should have taught us, but more often than not, millennials are uninformed. It’s astounding how many freshmen come to college not knowing to separate white clothes from colored clothes.

Maybe the public school system is failing this generation. With students now having to work through high school to afford to go to college, they should at least be given basic money management skills. No one is taught how to do taxes, you must suffer the wrath of Turbo Tax.

The problem is that younger generations are expected to know everything, simply because of the availability of information online. Computers aren’t parents or teachers. Previous generations weren’t expected to know it all without any help. Parents taught their children practical skills like cooking and sewing. Now, a YouTube video is expected to teach you these things, as if it’s a proper substitute. Nothing will compare to having an actual human teach you how to do these things, though.

Patience is something the internet doesn’t have. It’s not there to explain things different ways, or over and over again until you succeed. If reading the article about it doesn’t confuse you less, you’ll probably be confused forever.

It’s not that millennials aren’t capable of learning how to do things, it’s the principle of it all. A recipe online won’t teach you how to make your great grandma’s cookies the right way. Family traditions are meant to be passed down, and that just doesn’t happen via computer.

Just because we can learn everything online, doesn’t mean that we should. There’s a reason that teachers aren’t robots, and it’s mostly because learning requires patience. We need to resume teaching our children practical skills. There’s no excuse not to. The robot mothers just aren’t ready yet.

Featured Illustration: Sam Wiggins | Staff Illustrator

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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