Have You Had the “Cloud Talk” with Your Kids Yet?

  • Children aren't the only ones wondering what the cloud really is.
  • In its simplest form, the cloud is made up of many computers around the world that use the Internet to talk to each other.

I knew this day would come…The day every parent dreads. The discussion that is so difficult and awkward that you sometimes wish you could avoid it altogether. But there we were, heading out for a long weekend, and from the back seat of the car my son, seemingly from nowhere, blurted out…”Dad. Where do apps come from?”

kid touching cloud

I gripped the wheel and tried to remain calm as we sped down the interstate. I even contemplated the reply that I had been rehearsing over and over again in my head in preparation for this moment…but “Go ask your mother” surely wouldn’t work as I had planned, as she was sitting right there in the passenger seat. “The stork” seemed even less likely to satisfy his curiosity.
So instead, I offered the more reasonable answer: “Apps come from the Cloud.” I hoped that would put an end to the tension that I could feel building, but to no avail. My daughter immediately followed up with “What is the Cloud?” 

As we motored along, I explained that the cloud computing was really just a bunch of computers, spread out around the world, storing all kinds of information, and using the Internet to talk to each other. And, as long as you had an Internet connection you could have access to all of this information whenever you wanted it. Games, movies, pictures, books, music – just about anything you could think of. The great thing is that with the cloud, you don’t have to actually have all of the computers and equipment to store this stuff, but you can still get to it whenever you need it, no matter where you happen to be.

“Like having an endless toy collection with you all the time — and not having to put them away when you are done playing with them?” she suggested. “Yeah…pretty much,” I replied. I figured there was no need to explain the cost advantages of the pay-per-use delivery model and the many use cases for capacity-on-demand and cloud-based data backup.

I guess I always knew that someday I would have to have “the talk” with my kids, but I didn’t think the day would come so soon.

Have you had the “Cloud Talk” with your kids?

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