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Herman Trend Alert: Need Tech Support? Ask a Kid

Recently, we received an article forwarded from one of our daughters. Originating in the United Kingdom and published on line by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s magazine BBC News, the article talks about parents depending on their children for IT support. She was obviously sending us a message. She wanted us to know that we aren’t the only parents to ask/beg for help from our children.

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Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at http://www.hermangroup.com/archive.html

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From “Herman Trend Alert,” by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists.

Posted: Feb. 23, 2005, 9 a.m., EST

GREENSBORO, NC — Recently, we received an article forwarded from one of our daughters. Originating in the United Kingdom and published on line by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s magazine BBC News, the article talks about parents depending on their children for IT support. She was obviously sending us a message. She wanted us to know that we aren’t the only parents to ask/beg for help from our children.

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It is a fact that most parents in developed countries are less familiar with technology than their children. When you consider our teens have never lived in a world without computers, it is only reasonable. Many of our children touched their first keyboards before they took their first steps. Most of them began playing computer games as toddlers. They have been honing their abilities to size up situations and troubleshoot problems for years. So now, whether it comes to installing programs or solving technical problems, our children usually know just what to do.

Why are parents turning to their children? Two reasons: Our children’s help is usually either free or inexpensive and second, it’s usually accessible without waiting for hours for a computer technician to arrive.

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Some children even use the remote assistance feature to help from wherever they are. With this feature, the son or daughter may remotely “take control” of the parent’s computer, run programs and even troubleshoot problems in real time.

One mother in the United Kingdom exchanged free tech support for a year’s supply of chocolate chip cookies. Another father exchanged rebuilding the computer for help with help with plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems.

What is most interesting about this trend is what it means for the workplace. As our business lives become more complex, expect to see a substantial increase in “reverse apprenticeships.” More and more World War II and Baby Boomer folks will call on their children or other young people for help.

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Copyright 2005 by The Herman Group — From “Herman Trend Alert,” by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com.

The opinions expressed in “Herman Trend Alert” articles appearing on aftermarketNews.com do not necessarily reflect the opinions of AMN or Babcox Publications.

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