Talkin' 'bout their generation

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Anybody who's channel-surfed a TV set or read a newspaper since Thanksgiving knows that this is the first real dot-com year of the rest of their life. Not an ad goes by without a Web address being rattled off.

I've been watching this phenomenon with a certain smugness. "You see," I've boasted to myself, "you knew the Web would triumph. For once in your life you called it, and how."

But my self-congratulatory streak hit a speed bump over the weekend when an old friend let me know that I was just as clueless as my peers when it comes to understanding the wired minds of the generation nipping at our heels.

My friend has two kids. She is engaged to a guy with two kids. They're looking at houses. The one they like will have to be rewired with at least four phone lines. "Is that really necessary?" I asked. "We'll have four kids working on their computers all at once," she replied.

Homework, e-mail, games, it's all done at the keyboard now. It's not part of kids' learning curve, it's just the way they live.

Get wired. The digital clock is moving faster than I thought.

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