Everything on-demand

A lot has changed in the world since 1981, when I was two. Now thirty years later my son is two and I'm trying to speculate which differences will really impact how he (and by extension his generation) approaches the world.

My guess so far as to what will have the the biggest impact is that they will grow up expecting everything should be on-demand. People have usually framed that concept in a critical manner, but I think it is a bit more subtle and could turn out very positive.

Yes, kids want things on-demand and it can be annoying, e.g. that particular episode or song wherever they happen to be in the world at that moment. Yet kids have always wanted things on-demand. 

I'm sure I wanted things on-demand when I was two as well. But I usually couldn't get it. We had to wait until the song came on the radio, look in an encyclopedia, etc.

Now my son can often actually get it, and the question is more whether we should give it to him or not. And he knows it. So his default state switches to the expectation that things should be on-demand. It's like his default expectation that everything is a touch screen, which is amusing, but ultimately I doubt it will have much effect on his frame of reference. 

Expecting things on-demand though I think has more far-reaching consequences. I'm just not sure exactly what they are.

You could argue that when you grow up thinking like that, slow processes may come to really bother you. Why can't we do that now? Perhaps that will be good for the world long-term as his generation starts to break down processes and make them faster. Or not...


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