Wednesday, December 9, 2009 in education

Dear parents of Internet geeks

Hi. You probably don’t know me from a hole in the ground, but I might know one of your kids. See, I’m on the internet a lot. Like, all day a lot. Oh no, I’m not a creepy horrible addicted junkie, I SWEAR!

Wait! Come back!

Erm, let me explain this better… I work on the Internet. Yes, it’s legit. Yes, it’s FINE! Okay, one last try – I help build people build websites on the Internet.

(there. sounds perfectly normal).

Okay, I work on the Internet in a great community. If you become a member of the community, and you help people, you get known for your work. Especially for your work. If it’s really good work, you get really well known. You could say you’ve made a name for yourself.

Sometimes this work involves a lot of free work. Yes, work you don’t get paid for. It leads to work you DO get paid for, sometimes quite a bit. And like I said above, if you do good work and people know it, you get recognized and then you’re able to do well-paying jobs for other people.

This is how I got my job today. In fact (since maybe you don’t know me) both my husband and I work from home doing this very thing.

Well that’s all fine and dandy, you may be thinking, what’s this got to do with my kid?

I know your kid.

Yeah, YOUR kid. No! Not in a creepy way! See up there where I wrote about community? You might think your kid spends too much time on his computer, not enough time on homework. Your kid is also spending time helping other people. He’s also working. Yes, it’s a real job for some people, and your kid has done it on his own too. Pretty adult and mature of him, really.

And I know you’ve said to him he has to study hard to go to college to get a good job and make money.. but…
but…

He is.

He has a good job, though right now it’s part time because he has school. He makes good money. Or, at least he could make more if he had more time. There’s a few things he even does better than I do. I’ve seen his work.

He can’t learn this in university or college. Well, some of it he can, and maybe it’d be useful eventually, but he’s learning right now. He’s working right now. All on his own.

You should be really proud.

And lighten up, will ya? He’s a good kid, and he’s smart. Let him take a year off after graduation. I bet he’ll earn enough to pay for at least one year of university – if not two – and maybe by then you’ll see he doesn’t really need that at all.

But mostly? Maybe you’ll see he loves what he’s doing.