When you need to learn how to fold a fitted sheet, what do you do? I YouTube it. Without thinking, I know there will be a video of some nice person showing me how to do this mundane task correctly and neatly. Five years ago, before YouTube existed or broadband was popular, I probably would have called my grandma. She knew everything you could need to know about keeping a home nice, baking, cooking, sewing, and cleaning. She was the kind of grandma that some how managed to make your bed  and leave a warm apple pie on your pillow in the 30 seconds it took you to sleep walk to the bathroom and back.

I was talking about this with a friend, and I realized that a significant portion of our generation grew up without learning how to keep a home, or our lessons were incomplete. As an ostensible adult of some sort, I do things like buy tables at IKEA and know the difference between drapes and curtains [insert Tyler Durden quote here]. But I don’t know how to iron slacks or get sweat stains out of my white collars or bake brownies that don’t come in a Betty Crocker box. I don’t know, of course, until I search the internet.

Our grandparents had/have storehouses of useful information about caring for your home, your stuff, and your health (mental and physical), a great encyclopedia of advice given with the occasional off-color joke or crazy story from mid century. Now, their advice is augmented by a series of tubes that tell me how to make chicken salad and more NSFW jokes than I can handle. I’m not saying the internet has replaced my perpetually enraged Polish grandfather or my tiny, impossibly sweet grandmother (think a real life Archie and Edith Bunker), nothing will ever replace them. What I am saying is that for my generation, it seems we’ve come to think of the internet as the source for information that Gen Xers would have gone to their parents or grandparents to get. Our advice from the greatest generation is crowd-sourced and digitized.

Tagged with: