Flutterby™! : Kids don't drive

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Kids don't drive

2010-06-01 19:50:23.869159+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Advertising Age: Is Digital Revolution Driving Decline in U.S. Car Culture? Fewer younger drivers, and younger drivers are driving less, but the comments are also interesting: Now that cars are relatively trouble-free and you can do more to to tune them by replacing the engine control chips than by any home-brew mechanical additions, there's no joy in tinkering.

[ related topics: Sociology Consumerism and advertising California Culture Automobiles Machinery ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-02 18:48:22.779964+00 by: ebradway

Most kids don't tinker. Or at least, don't tinker mechanically. I type this with grease under my fingernails from spending the past two days replacing the timing belt on my wife's '98 Ford Ranger. Most people are more like my wife's family. You sell a car before maintenance becomes overwhelming and you don't do it yourself.

The kids who do like to tinker are focusing on other, more satisfying things. I taught myself to program because I liked tinkering in a clean environment. As a kid, I used to hate having dirty fingernails - the kind that only come clean once they've grown out far enough to trim. By the time I taught myself to program (at age 13), I already knew how to rebuild a lawn mower or mini bike engine. I rarely got new bicycles - usually scraping together a frankencycle from parts.

The shift away from driving is much more complex. The loss of tinkering is, at best, a minor factor. More significant might be economics: teenage unemployment is sky-high (and not officially tracked) and cars (at least the kind parents feel safe sending their kids out in) are much more expensive (as are operating costs). So kids use social media as a surrogate for "cruising".