Technology Will Soon Make It Possible For Kids To Sleep In

School drop-off isn’t a commonly mentioned market signal, but it’s arguably a relevant one. It’s not nothing that fathers are more and more the ones dropping kids off. What a change.

Part of the change no doubt has to do with the reality that women and men increasingly share a modern workplace once dominated by men. This on its own is a prosperous signal. More hands in the workplace don’t push wages down as simplistic supply/demand notions suggest, as much as more hands enable an even broader division of labor that directs precious hands to increasingly specialized work that logically pays more for it being specialized. But that’s a digression.

For the purposes of this write-up, it’s simply notable that fathers more and more shoulder school drop-off duties. It’s no insight to say that technology is a big factor. While it used to be that all work took place at a desk in an office, the ubiquity of smartphones, computers, and the internet that connects these devices means that work takes place all the time and from most anywhere.

Fathers can more and more handle school drop-off because the act of taking the kids to school is no longer a barrier to productive work. Blue tooth and internet access mean that calls can be made to and from school, and that e-mails and texts can similarly be completed from anywhere.

None of what’s been written so far should be seen as an embrace of remote work, or a prediction of it as the future. Companies in the past didn’t just create headquarters to that people could have desks, phones and computers, and they didn’t have headquarters just to spend money on something. There’s enormous value to people working alongside each other. Evidence supporting this claim can be found in the ongoing reality that the best companies direct so much in the way of resources to their headquarters.

At the same time, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that time spent in the office isn’t as crucial as it used to be. Evidence supporting this claim can be found in the fact that it’s increasingly common to see fathers dropping their kids off at school, at their games, and at all sorts of activities that were formerly an impossibility due to insufficient technology. Technology is changing the day-to-day reality of parenting, and the bet here is that it won’t stop with parenting.

It seems a logical follow-on to fathers dropping the kids off is that start times for schools will gradually be pushed back. Why shouldn’t they be?

More than most want to say or admit, to a high degree school is daycare. But if technology is making it possible for parents to be less rigid about when they arrive at and leave the office for the day, it’s not unrealistic that these changes will gradually carry over to education.

Kids arguably want and need more sleep, while it’s not as urgent for parents to reach a physical location as early as they formerly did. The bet here is that the combination will eventually reveal itself in later start-times for schools.  

It’s a long or short way of saying that the shared misery of kids being woken up by reluctant parents will be another inconvenience erased by technology. There was never any specific reason for school to start so early other than start-times made it possible for parents to be parents, but also employees.

The bet here is that this will soon enough change. Parents will embrace a change that technology will make simple. Kids will finally get to sleep in, and because they’ll be able to sleep in, mornings will be much less of a nightmare. Isn’t “Big Tech” awful?

Republished from RealClear Markets


  • John Tamny

    John Tamny is a popular speaker and author in the U.S. and around the world. His speech topics include "Government Barriers to Economic Growth," "Why Washington and Wall Street are Better Off Living Apart," and more.

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