News?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

From BusinessWeek

Although networks are still in their infancy, experts think they’re already creating new forms of social behavior that blur the distinctions between online and real-world interactions. In fact, today’s young generation largely ignores the difference. Most adults see the Web as a supplement to their daily lives. They tap into information, buy books or send flowers, exchange apartments, or link up with others who share passions for dogs, say, or opera. But for the most part, their social lives remain rooted in the traditional phone call and face-to-face interaction.

The MySpace generation, by contrast, lives comfortably in both worlds at once. Increasingly, America’s middle- and upper-class youth use social networks as virtual community centers, a place to go and sit for a while (sometimes hours). While older folks come and go for a task, Adams and her social circle are just as likely to socialize online as off. This is partly a function of how much more comfortable young people are on the Web: Fully 87% of 12- to 17-year-olds use the Internet, vs. two-thirds of adults, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

This 87% issue is deceptive, but such revelations shouldn’t be news to anyone, especially those of use who practically live on college campuses where most people in the lanes stride about cell-to-ear.


One response to “News?”

  1. susan says:

    First of all, 87% versus two thirds is very deceptive, since in reality, 87% and 66% isn’t such a huge difference given the other cultural and societal changes made during that generation gap.

    There’s a lot of issues to consider here, those born and brought up with the internet will take it for granted, as we might have taken the invention of television or cars, whereas those who were adults prior to whatever becomes a normal part of living as a result of its improved methods will still remember the horse and hollering down the lane.

    Will we (as a society)become more likely to be just as happy with webcams and video friends as we are with face to face interaction? Who knows. I think there will always be a place for both, and that technology has only opened up more space in which to move rather like being able to go to Grandma’s in California for the Christmas holiday instead of an all-day sleighride just up the road.