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Why Elon Musk Said YouTube and Reddit Educated his Children

elon musk
Elon musk and kids

Elusive Tesla Founder Elon Musk gave an hour and a half interview to podcasters on the audio only app Clubhouse last night and confirmed that YouTube and Reddit educated his children.

In context, the world’s richest man agreed to be interviewed by the founders of the “Good Time” club on Clubhouse and during the conversation, one of the fan interviewers asked him for advice on educating a 5-year old.

To that query, he then responded, “My kids were mostly educated by YouTube and Reddit” 

following up with “generally, with education, you want to make it as interesting and exciting as possible.” 

This morning, I saw a few people try to decode what he meant by that, wanting him to extrapolate and expand on his pronoucement.

Twitter user Jhony Guttierez added his spin which I believe got it right.

“The gist of it being that learning by doing is better than just learning and that a narrative is much better instilling relevancy as you learn,” Gutierrez hypothesized. “I think he’s spot on because we learn best when we’re driven by curiosity.”

He added: “My extrapolation from that comment is that they’re doing their own research based on curiosity, thus better and longer-lasting learning. Also, kids nowadays have access to digital resources we didn’t.”

It is quite true. Without prodding, guidance or cuing them, my children have managed to discover the lyrics to old 90s songs I used to dance to, they have visited other cultures, watched documentaries, found odd webseries that incorporate ethical decisions into common problems and more…all on YouTube.

My now 18-year old used to get into deep philosopical discussions and debates with his Reddit friends and go deep with it. I don’t recall having such intellectual conversations with my friends at the mall and arcade as was the common hang outs when I was a child.

I am always amazed and surprised when I discover that my children are aware of a certain concept, and I ask did they learn it in school and they shake their heads leading me to say in my head, “YouTube!”

So it is quite true that they discover through exploring and engaging and interacting with their peers online.

Musk’s comment is almost the exact opposite of Apple CEO Tim Cook who has said that children should not use social media, stating in 2017 that “it can also be a place where basic rules of decency are suspended and pettiness and negativity thrive.” Similarly, the heads of other Tech Giants at Microsoft, Google and even Steve Jobs have said they too limit their children’s access to technology.

Agreed that social and digital media has its problems with bullying, misinformation, toxic behavior, age inappropriate materials and creeps, but it can be quite the tool for developing sharp and intellectually curious minds.

The SpaceX founder recently welcomed a son with his partner Grimes last May and also has five children with his first wife, Justine Wilson

The two were married from 2000 to 2008, and they utilized IVF to help Wilson’s pregnancies that lead to the birth of twins, Griffin and Xavier, in 2004, and triplets, Saxon, Kai, and Damian, in 2006.  

They lost their first child together, son Nevada Alexander, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2002 when Nevada was just 10 weeks old.

Santa HQ at Tyson’s Corner Center Mall In Va Is A Must Visit This Season

This weekend, I headed down to the Tyson’s Corner Center Mall to attend the launch kick off event of its Santa HQ, an interactive, and engaging exhibit featuring virtual reality, social media and other engaging experiences, essentially an enhanced Santa’s workshop for the digital era..

It was a fun  family mid-afternoon spent decorating Nestle‘s Tollhouse cookies, listening to a local school band perform, getting complimentary face painting and touring Santa’s Observatory near the Nordstrom entrance in the mall.

The tour kicks off with kids (and adults if they like) being “scanned” as they arrive to determine if they’ve been “naughty or nice.” Your name appears on the Nice list if you’re lucky enough to make it!

Complimentary selfie sticks are available to borrow while walking through the observatory to take photos. Guests can use special tablets to view Santa’s magical world – the night sky or Santa’s elves at work. They appear like holograms before your eyes!

But right before entering the observatory, your kids can stop off and take an “ELFIE” (a photo opp as a dancing elf).

Download the Elfie or Elf-Ray Visions app from the Apple or Google Play store onto your phone, tablet or other mobile device and the walk thru becomes an even more magical experience as trigger stations throughout the exhibit ignite animations that come to life through the device and before your eyes. It’s quite magical!

At the end, families can take a photo in front of a screen of gifts and kids get to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Prices start at $39.99 for the photo.

I have been to a lot of holiday exhibits in the area and over the years and I must say this is one of the best Santa experiences in the #DMV (DC, MD, VA area)

Kids get a coloring book as a parting gift and parents can drop off a toy for a toy drive for needy area families while there. That equals fun and altruism all in one fun afternoon. Can’t beat that!

I read in a recent report that suburban malls are on the downturn because millennials in the GenY generation prefer living in the city and shopping online, but that prognosis does not apply to this mall!

It has so many amazing and different stores and is electrifying and bustling in there with lots of options and two food courts! Go #ShopTysons.

As a takeaway and gift for coming down to explore this year’s exhibit, the nice people at Tyson’s gifted me a wonderful gift bag filled with goodies from Origins, a sample of beauty products from Inglot which also provided complimentary make up touch ups for moms before the Santa photo, a couple of free admissions tickets to Tysons Ice Rink at the Plaza, and the latest copy of HGTV magazine, which is a sponsor of the Observatory experience.