Teens feel like idiots, which doesn’t help them

Treating people well helps them be successful

A thought from John McCarthy, a computer-science pioneer in a NYT article “Why Silicon Valley is not your friend”. He is speaking on the responsibility computer programmers have because of the sophistication of technology.

“Program designers have a tendency to think of the users as idiots who need to be controlled. They should rather think of their program as a servant, whose master, the user, should be able to control it.”

In other words, he suggests that the programmers use empathy to make technology more accessible.

As I read this I think young people and their quest to become alive, confident, curious adults, so I changed Mr. McCarthy’s words to reflect what many young people feel.

“Adults have a tendency to think of us as idiots who don’t care, aren’t motivated, and just need to get with the program and work harder. What if adults, parents, and educators think of us as young, developing, exploring, curious, capable (in a teenage way), vulnerable people full of potential and in an exciting exploration to find who we are, what we want, and how we get it?

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