There seems to be two sides to our contemporary technology...fun and serious.
The fun side tends to be things that occupy our kids... the games and so forth (real fun). Well that's okay. Kids are suppose to have most of the fun, anyway. Adults are supposed to tend to the serious stuff.
But every now and then the technology we've worked so seriously to build goes haywire. The "fun" stops being the games and starts being the serious things. That's when we find that technology is being employed by someone like the idiot who stole my identity on eBay a couple days ago to place the winning bid so I would have to pay for it and have it shipped to him.
This strikes me as... criminal as well as not being the least bit funny.
Back in the 1980s when I was doing middle aged things like trying to understand my own kid... most of the time it was just someone who lost interest in regular games who decided to do this sort of thing. For the fun of it. Now it is big business... scamming and shamming and phishing and so on. The game is to transfer money from people who have some... to people who can't, or don't want to earn money the old fashioned way.
Apparently this is a consequence of well-intentioned people like me who wanted their kids to be successful. They have undoubtedly spent some of their hard won earnings to see that their kids were educated well enough to operate computers and be savvy when it comes to using technology.
By the way my kid is successful, knows computers and makes use of technology better than I do. My kid does not do the sort of thing that just happened to me as far as I know. If I were to find out that he did, I would give all 190 lbs of him... a big bonk on the head.
The people who want to us to give up our money to them have been educated by us. Some of them are our kids. Maybe not all of them, but older people, I think, find it harder to scam and hack than younger people do. I read some posts in response to the recent NewsVine Superpower wish article where terms like "hacking" were equated with "fun". I got the sense that they were comments from people who are younger than I am.
One thing is for sure, 100% of the time the perpetrator is someones' kid.
Phishers, Hackers, Spammers and the like are just doing what we all did when we grew up: tinker with the world around us and see if what we've been told is really true.
I tinkered with a few theories in my day (which was before PCs but after comic books)... I tinkered casually with some pretty big ideas until the day I came to understand clearly that I was not, and never could be, the son of Superman.
Flying off the roof of the barn had quite an impact on me. A big red cape and red underpants are no help at all when you land on your head.
Kids are growing up with a technology that allows them to tinker like that in solitude and never have a real-world experience that has any consequenses. With the computers kids can fly off of all kinds of things, crash into barriers to their heart's content, blow their five allotted virtual bodies to Kingdom come ... and then go eat dinner.
Rarely do their actions result anything more than tired fingers or a bit of frustration. Every time they get to the point they might they might actually learn something concrete... like I did... they push the "Reset Button" and start their world all over again as good as new.
Wouldn't it seem natural for imaginative youngsters to assume that the telephone system or the power company's systems, or even the U. S. Government has a Reset button like their games do? Why should they even think that their world could fall apart because they've played with the national defense system? Things that important are bound to have Reset buttons.
I don't think the situation is the kids' fault. We adults have got to take the responsibility. We need to take the problem seriously. We'll have to ensure our kids and our grandkids are not the ones who think the World has a Reset Button. We need to find a way to help them understand that what we do here on Earth is actually... not a game at all. The World can give you a nasty bump on the head if you treat it that way.
For those who don't believe it... why not try flying off a real barn in a big cape and red underpants. That worked for me.
As for that kid of someone's who stole my identity on eBay I suggest they try it without the cape and use a higher barn.