Here Today, Here Tomorrow?

Posted on September 3, 2012 by Jeff Jones

We put the kids on the bus for the first day of school and stood talking with a few other parents about … tattoos, of all things. We shared stories about why we got one and what it meant. We realized that most of our 30-something peers had a tattoo as well. Our kids had noticed this, too. My 6-year-old recently asked, “Does everyone have to get a tattoo when they’re an adult?”

Tattoos aside, his question got me thinking about all the things that his generation won’t find cool at all and how their interests will affect the trends of tomorrow.

Consider that when I unveiled a 1960s typewriter at the kitchen table recently, my children set down the iPad to take a closer look at this machine that could magically create letters on a blank sheet of paper right in front of their eyes. What’s more, they could take the paper out, fold it and send it in the mail—no printer needed to transform words from a computer screen to something usable.

They were also quite impressed with a record player I broke out at a recent family function.

Their idea of technological progress might just take a page from their parents’ perceived junk. Already, there’s a subtle trend toward mashing up today’s technology with yesterday’s; my favorite is tube amps for iPods.

Our own Prosumer Report “This Digital Life,” which explores life in the post-technology era, shows that we’re going to see more of a push for a sort of hybrid way of living that combines the best of the old and new—keeping current conveniences while holding fast to those traditions and values that are in danger of disappearing.

It’ll be interesting to see just what will be considered high tech in 20 years.


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