Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Younger Friends -- More than tech support!

I was listening to a speaker the other day. She talked about having friends across the age spectrum. She said that her older friends were valuable for their wisdom and experience and she needed her younger friends to help her with her phone. Really, that's it? The woman was  about my age, perhaps a bit younger, and was referring to 20-somethings -- and that was her primary audience that day as well.

Of course, the speaker may have been exagerating a bit, but it reminded me of  something that Bret and Alex Harris said in their book Do Hard Things which was written to encourage teenagers to defy expectations and accomplish big stuff. They reminded us that people get what they expect and what society currently expects of teens is that they are going to be technologically savvy and be sexually active. According to the Harrises adolescents are both of those things these days. They hope their peers will do more.

I have a lot of younger friends. I occasionally will ask a question about my phone or computer, but I have found that they are far more valuable for other things. Besides, for those types of questions, I could just call tech support.

I can't speak for this woman's friends, but I know that mine often have brilliant ideas on a lot of subjects, from  updates to registration forms to topics for events. I have known them to recruit their peers for something and then keep them organized and on track. As I have listened to them on political, economic and social topics I have learned a great deal. If we implemented some of their ideas the world would be a better place. But we have to hear them first, which means talking to them about more than how to access our voice mail.

Younger people often think they can change the world. I remember a professer telling my class in college that he wasn't going to tell us we couldn't because some of us actually would. Energy, enthusiasm and perserverance can lead to great things at any age.

So I encourage you to feel free to ask about that strange app on your computer if you need to, but then change the subject and find out what a young friend has to say on a topic close to your heart or theirs.

Who are your younger friends? What have they added to your life?


  1. Great Point, I too have friends across the age spectrum. Although, I will admit that they come to my aid more often about the tech stuff. Also, I have children who are across the age spectrum and I am very active with them, so I guess by default, this is how I have "friends" in various age groups and they have revealed a thing or two about what goes on in their world. I encourage all to let teens know that their home is a safe haven, if ever in need.

  2. That's a good point, too. Many teens are in need of a safe place to be. Thanks for commenting,

  3. 1 Timothy 4:12
    Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

    The bible tells me so. . .nice post Melinda!