We are de-skilling the nation; an old woman bemoans the loss of fundamentals

April 14, 2012

So we have a generation of people now in their 20s and 30s who have never lived in a household where anyone works. Tragic. And it makes it understandably difficult to generate a work ethic brought up like that. Where the option is to stay in and watch daytime TV or get up out of bed and go to work even when you don’t feel like it. De-skilled.

The satnav has removed straightforward navigational skills from young drivers who rely solely on the machine to tell them where to go. At least I can read a map when i need to. Work out where I am and where I need to get to. But when i use satnav I don’t even register where  am going, what  landmarks I have passed, which turn I have taken so I can’t repeat the journey without the blinking box. Having said that I can’t blame the machine for the fact I suddenly found myself on the M25 last Saturday after a night out at friends who live 20 minutes away straight down the M40. I thought I’d stick to the inside lane to avoid drawing attention to myself just in case the two glasses of champagne I’d had were still lingering in the system and suddenly found myself veering far away from the lane saying central London.

Heat and eat convenience foods means there are millions of people who cant make a shepherd’s pie. Or a pork chop. Or a salad. Or macaroni cheese. Or know how to make a meal with leftovers (one of my specialities). Good home cooking can be easy, nutritious and cheap.

The calculator means no need for mental maths. But surely you need to have a rough idea whether the calculator is correct or out by a factor of 100? And you can’t do that if you’ve never learnt your times tables. (I hold my hands up and agree there is little use for a slide rule nowadays as far as I’m aware, what the fuck was the point of them? Something to do with multiplication and logs?)

Obviously times move on and they may have skills I don’t, (PS3 being an obvious example)  but these are real survival skills for the real western world. Living on processed food, relying on electronics to do everything for you takes away the building blocks required to create new stuff.

But they’ll probably have watched the survival programmes on TV and beleive theywould be able to dig up a tree root to make a fishing rod………


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