We fell victim to a Youtube prank. It started when the television in our camper developed lines in the screen. Okay, you got me, it didn’t develop lines as much as it was damaged when a projectile was errantly launched in its direction. But that’s a different story.
As most of our generation does when we have a problem, we went to Google to find an answer. It faithfully returned the best solution which was found on Youtube. We watched a short video where a nice gentleman instructed us how to fix it.
According to him it was simple, just go to your kitchen, get a spoon and tap the lines in the television screen to fix it. Turn the television on to see the lines — tap, tap, tap with the spoon directly on the screen – and the lines will miraculously disappear!
Does that sound like a good idea? Somehow my gut instinct didn’t kick in and we gave it a try. Tap tap tap.. tap tap tap… “oh crap the lines just got bigger”!
The video didn’t tell us what to do if the lines got bigger. Maybe I just needed to tap it a few more times. Tap tap tap tap tap…. “Oh man, now the line takes the entire third of the screen”!!
It wasn’t one of our high points on the trip. How would we continue watching “The Americans” on Amazon Prime if our television wasn’t fully working?? Even in a camper, we still experienced first world problems.
That’s when I remembered you can’t always trust the solutions you find on Google, although I should’ve fully learned earlier when I self-diagnosed myself with a pulled muscle when in reality I ruptured my Achilles tendon (thanks WebMD).
If only we had a source of information we could access, a source where experience and wisdom could quickly help us identify plausible solutions and more importantly, weed out bad (Youtube) solutions.
For our entire humanity up until this point, the solution to our problems was always “the elders”. They were the carriers of knowledge through the generations that helped us survive. They could tell us which berries to eat and which berries would kill us, they knew what to do when a baby had a fever and they taught us the meaning of our lives through stories passed down through the generations.
Now, we’re like screw you mom and dad, don’t tell us how to raise our kids, we’re much more informed thanks to this mommy blogger who’s real hip!
It’s crazy how many times I’ve seen that exact scenario play out, and it wasn’t until recently discussing it with a friend we realized how hard it must be on the elders. They’ve been replaced by inanimate screens and undisclosed informants as our go to source of knowledge and information.
How difficult it must be for them to have finally earned this previously coveted age of wisdom, only to be the first generation totally ignored, and even worst looked down upon for their “narrow” scope of knowledge.
What’s difficult for them might become dangerous for us, the ones who no longer value their knowledge. Idiots like me will end up tapping television screens with spoons and others will eat tide pods because it’s a fun trend.
We outsource our thinking to the highest bidders and we happily relinquish our time, and our lives, to our jobs. The old ones tell us we’ll never regret taking that trip, but we might regret skipping that extra time with our family to hit the next work deadline. They tell us to be more courageous and live the unique life we want to live.
The old ones learn to enjoy the simple and routine of life. They discover hobbies that take up all their time and energy. Some miss work or wish they could go back, but from my experience with retired friends and family, they sure as hell don’t.
Unfortunately, our pride prevents us from taking the advice of others. We say it was different for them, the world has changed and technology has changed. They can’t even unlock their dang iPhone, so why should we view them as a source of wisdom? Maybe they already know we won’t listen to them as we spend our time glued to our smartphones.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite books, The Lakota Way:
“Being wise, having wisdom, is knowledge what to do with what you know, when to do it, and how to do it. Or, sometimes a person must know enough to do nothing… wisdom told me that you had to learn the lesson for yourself, because wisdom reminded me that I learned the same lesson in the same way.”
If we don’t learn from history, we’ll be cursed with the same mistakes. Knowledge is acquired through reading, listening and doing. Wisdom comes from age and experience. We can choose to learn the wisdom from others or curse ourselves with the same mistakes.