Driving is so last millennium

I'm hearing more and more about teenagers being urged by their parents to go get their drivers license. No this is not going to turn into yet another of Uncle Nozz's "when I was there age blah blah blah". I got my license when I was 17. Little late, but my father wasn't the most enjoyable driving teacher to have so I waited until he was out of the country with his reserve unit and handled it. The reasoning behind teenagers now not wanting to go get their driver's license is that they aren't seeing the need for it.

And really they do have a bit of a point. Gas prices are more then triple what they were when I was teenager. $8 would have me set for a week. So, it is a lot more expensive. But lets look at why a teenager would want their drivers license: independence, getting a job, and going to hang out with their friends.

The independence issue pretty much a mainstay. Either you get your license, depend of others to get you where you need to go, or hope your area has an excellent mass transit system. This used to baffle me about some people in big cities like new York who never learned to drive. Once I considered how traffic can be in those cities and you can get nearly everything you need in walking distance or by taking mass transit you don't really need it. Besides which, after driving in Montreal I don't even want to think about learning to drive there. That's just scary. I wouldn't want my kids driving there. You want to know why Georges St. Pierre has such fast kicks? From dodging traffic, that's how.

As for the kids working and needing to be able to drive to get to work. Well, again if you're in a big city its not much of an issue. If you're not you're probably going to need that license to get a job, because you can only sponge off the folks for so long.

The hanging with the friends thing is interesting to me. I've noticed a marked decrease in mallrats nowadays. If teenagers are there its to buy what they need. I did notice that teenagers in malls are troublesome where my dad lives in West Virginia. Mall security has problems with kids hanging out there and causing trouble, kinda like I'd hear about kids doing here when I was a teenager. Why that area of West Virginia? Hard to say, but I do know that my Dad can't get decent internet up there.

Teenagers don't need their licenses to see their friends because there's their picture right there on Facebook or Twitter. Texting has replaced long phone calls and it seems the internet has replaced actually hanging out. Why set up a place to meet and spend the money on gas when you can just log in? It really is a lot more practical.

Practical sometimes doesn't equal healthy. I'm not going to knock a kid for not wanting to spend money on gas when they can use tech to contact people and chat with them. Still, driving is a good skill to have. That and getting out from in front of the computer, after you read my blog of course because its important that you read everything I type, and getting some face time with people is a good thing.

So it seems driving isn't as much of a necessity to teenagers now. Probably a good thing because the roads are a little safer.

Yes I had to get a jab at teen drivers in there somewhere.


Reading Rachel said...

I think it's a little sad. The whole concept that facebook, or twitter can replace actual human interaction is a little disturbing. With those two things plus skype, texting, telecommuting to work, etc etc, I think we're slowing becoming an anti-social community. Is this our future? Sitting at home and doing everything from computer with little to no need for human interaction? I loe the internet as much as the next person but it's getting a little disturbing.

Marty Nozz said...

There was a scene in Mark Waid's LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES run that reminds me a bit of this. The story takes place in the 31st century. The scene in particular involves two law enforcement officers discussing a particular matter via video monitors. The word balloons on the page seemed slightly off and looked like there was a lettering mistake or printing error. Ten I realized what I was looking at.

The two men having the discussion on the video monitors were in the same room right next to each other.