KIDS, STOP LISTENING TO ADULTS!

LESSON 1: PHONES & THE INTERNET

When I was younger it was bad manners to bring a cellphone to class. In fact, ANY electronics you brought to class was considered “contraband” and seized immediately. So the Game Boys, Nokias, Motorolas, CDs of any kind, even digital watches that beeped too loud, all found their way to the headmaster’s drawer till further notice (i.e. whenever you grew the balls to ask for them back).

Back then, those who risked bringing any contraband to class were the “bad boys”, the “bad girls”, the kids to stay away from. If you were caught using you were just as culpable, even if the device wasn’t yours. Your parents were called. It was intense. The tears, the corporal punishment, the shame, all because Batman’s punches from level 6 were a little too loud in Math class.

batman

SO YOU CAN IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I visited said class recently. Now at a legal age to get wasted on alcohol, talk less of carrying a phone to class. The guards looked at me funny when I said I came for ‘Nostalgia’ which is understandable I guess…

EVERY KID had an iPad and a phone. Not only was it not contraband, it was actually mandatory to have one. They used iPads DURING class as an alternative to books. There were actual classes dedicated to surfing the internet responsibly, I STILL saw kids playing Batman behind the desk mind you, but this time it’s cool. It’s learning.

ipad

When I say “Kids Stop Listening to Adults!” I’m not kidding. Every adult advised against having a phone as a kid. Worst of all Parents, for the child’s “protection”. Can’t be too hard on them though, considering that mobile use in my country started in 2001, and even then the internet wasn’t really a thing till around 2007. But now…

There’s an actual economy dedicated to phone use, internet use, electronic management. Companies pay for people to handle twitter accounts for them now, there’s courses for Social Media Metric Analysis. App development has become a 9 to 5. In fact , my country’s most popular blogger, Linda Ikeji, is worth 12 million dollars and an employer of labour. She runs a gossip blog; make of that what you will.

So imagine the possibilities if you had allowed yourself get a headstart in that market as a kid.

 

LESSON 2: VIDEO GAMES

“Stop playing video games so much” seems like pretty good advice on the surface, especially when barking from the lips of an adult you are dependent upon. Now take those negative affirmations, crank up the volume to 200% and place them in the early 2000s, when the Playstation one had just started to become a thing in my country. A kid that played video games was one that wasted his life, his potential and his eyes. I had friends whose consoles were actually thrown in the trash for insubordination.

NOW FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT…

pewdiepie

As at the time of this post the person with the most subscriptions on Youtube is a young man from Sweden called Pewdiepie. A silly name to adopt right? Pewdiepie is worth 20 million dollars and has over 18 billion views and counting. What did he do to get so successful you ask?

At the age of 25, Pewdiepie had made 7.4 million dollars by FILMING HIMSELF PLAYING VIDEO GAMES. He had dropped out of school to develop his Youtube account, which pissed off his Parents as you would imagine. I expect they’re okay with it now. The gaming companies certainly are: they pay him to advertise their consoles and programs on his website. Amazingly, Pewdiepie is not the only one to have gained success doing Video Game Commentary, an entire host of others have made 10 million dollars and above from it: ElRubiusOMG (27.4 million subscribers), Fernanfloo (26.4 million subscribers), JuegaGerman (24.6 million subscribers) just to name a few of these rich nerds 🙂

An entire market has been created for Video game players now, known as E SPORTS. These are video game competitions that offer up to 5 million dollars in winnings per competition. The Video Game Industry now supports a variety of businesses, Commentators, Analysts, Game developers, Models, Musicians, Actors and Voice Actors, even Game Testers. Amazing isn’t it?

 

LESSON 3: MUSIC

I could write an entire novel on how much Parents did not wish for their kids to become musicians as a kid. Then I could release a book series explaining with examples how wrong they’ve been proven. As part of the “Stay in School Mantra” that was wildly popular in the late 90’s for some reason, any kids that wished to venture into music were labeled delinquents, unserious and lacking motivations.

Musicians were nothing to aspire to become, which seems quite funny now seeing as there’s SO MUCH MUSIC in our daily life that it has become impossible to ignore. Musicians smoked weed on television, flaunted their sexual exploits, dressed in suggestive and revealing displays. Musicians were seen as drug abusers, sex offenders, even spiritually and mentally disturbed individuals. While some of this might hold true (indeed it does in some cases), it seems wholly irrelevant now…

BECAUSE NOWADAYS

nowadays

Larger than life Musical Characters are actually marketed TO children, so all the tattoed, drug using, sexual imagery is cool now for kids. “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” is just a label put on albums to avoid trouble. Kids are finally free to listen to who they want and aspire to become. Music has been so accepted culturally that it affects almost everything related to lifestyle. Clothing, Hair Care and Beauty products, the automobile industry, language… Musicians receive endorsements from MacDonalds, Burger King, Adidas, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Mercedes, you get the picture.

Not only are musicians no longer pariahs, they are actually revered now. The weirder the better: Piercings, Tattooes, Prison convictions, Coloured hair, all displays for value as a creative artiste. We now live in a wonderful time where rappers receive keys to the city, perform at government functions and for government officials and schools…

A rapper known as Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for Music recently… damn, as a kid it was wrong to even use the F word. What a time to be alive.

 

LESSON 4: FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

ronaldo

Hate it or Love it, Football is the most popular sport in the world, played in over 200 countries. A single football match can see up to 70,000 travelling fans. In the English Premier League (My Country’s favourite), the cheapest matchday ticket costs more than 30 pounds.

In the wake of the recently concluded World Cup, I’m going to run some random statistics about Football’s International Association, FIFA. FIFA is a Non-Profit Organisation by the way…

FIFA’s revenue from 2015-2018 totals about 5.65 billion dollars. In 2017 alone it stood at 734 million dollars. FOX currently holds the rights to televise the 2022 World cup, but it wasn’t cheap, they paid 400 million dollars for it. FIFA made 527 million during the 2014 World Cup from the sale of TICKETS. They made 1.45 billion dollars from marketing rights for the 2015-2018 cycle. I’m going to stop here for now…

IT WOULD SEEM
…ludicrous from outside observation that so much can be generated from two teams of 11 players each kicking a leather ball around. Funny enough, even today kids are discouraged from choosing Football as a profession in my country. The sport is so loved, universally watched, has sprung a plethora of betting websites, yet hardly supported by the Government. But I digress…

KIDS STOP LISTENING TO ADULTS!

Not to say that your parents don’t want the best for you. They really do. But the thing is, a parent will most likely act on certain impulses when it comes to their children. The Impulse to keep their kids protected from any harm is one; Some Parents want to see kids continue their Legacy, rather than build their own. Worst of all, growing up makes you Jaded, Cynical and less open to exploring new opportunities; so some Parents don’t want their kids taking unnecessary risks. But…

DO WHAT YOU LIKE

…as a Kid you have no such fears. That’s the beauty of it. You can develop an interest in almost anything. As long as it’s productive, do it. Cultivate your talents. Explore your environment. You never know, that thing you discuss with your friends on the playground could be the next big thing…

 

PS. My name is OB KeengI’m a Creative Writer and Musician. This is where I share my weird thoughts with the world.

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