Search This Blog

Nov 2, 2010

Learning to shop in the 21st century

As we raise our kids with all the new technology that is now at our fingertips, my husband and I often wonder how different our kids' perception of the world will be from ours. We already have had to answer questions such as why there are pay phones on the street and where the movies are saved on the TV. These questions certainly wouldn't have come up 20 years ago.

And this is just the start. The other day, I got a recent reminder of this question - and an obvious confirmation that kids are seeing the world very differently. Daniel and I were going through an activity book that asks the kids to put images showing steps for a particular activity in the right sequence. We had been doing other similar exercises for a while so he understood the concept of the game. The new topic was about shopping and the images showed a little boy browsing a store, trying on a jacket, paying at the cashier, etc... Typical shopping activities, you would think.

Well, Daniel struggled with this one. The problem was that he rarely goes shopping in a store. For him, the steps of shopping include:
- sitting at the computer
- clicking to buy a product
- waiting for the delivery man to bring a box
- opening the box at home

And this is clear when we talk about things he wants us to buy. His first comment is always, we need to find it on the computer and wait for the mail man. In particular, I don't think I have ever been clothes shopping with Daniel. So the images in the book just didn't make sense.

Since my work focuses on online retail (did I mention I work for Tinyprints? I will have to write about the great selection of Christmas cards soon, by the way), I find it fascinating to realize that online shopping might become the norm of shopping for the next generation. This would have huge implications if the behavior change is so drastic. It remains to be seen how much focus Daniel might give to in-store shopping eventually. To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment