Thursday, January 5, 2012

From You to Me to the World

Generation gap – these two words may mean the same thing as it used to but age difference is no longer any indication. There is a generation gap between my grandparents and parents, there is less strict adherence to traditions of yore and business practices are less harsh. There is a generation gap between my parents and I; the Internet is still a concept they can’t fully grasp (not that anyone can). There is a generation gap between me and my twenty-year old cousin; he has this persistent need to post everything he does on his Facebook page or his Twitter account. As we were playing a round of Monopoly Deal, before and after his turn he would be fiddling with his Ipad, downloading an application or liking this friend’s picture. I didn’t understand this compulsion to be constantly interacting to x number of people all the time.

In the year 2006, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year was “you.” It recognized the unimagined and unexpected impact of people sitting in front of their computers for several hours a day had to the rest of the world. The interaction varied from the mundane, those who would record themselves making a parody of a hit song; to the useful, those writing reviews about every newest product; or even to the solemnly serious, videos of floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. From your home or office, using a PC, a laptop, a tablet or even a phone, thousands of people all over the world could be connected at any one moment. Everyone’s watching each other. And as technology continuously advances, there is no turning back, there is no returning to the stone age of brick-style cellphones, to dial-up Internet connection and to random thoughts just staying in your head. Interconnection is part of our reality. For some it might be a validation of their significance to broadcast what they had for breakfast and have people comment. For some it is to gather information, whether relevant or not, that they need for the rest of their day. But for all, it is to stay connected to a brother, a high school friend, a college buddy, a colleague and the rest of the planet.

As eloquently put in TIME Magazine back in 2006 and still appropriate for the now, “it's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes… This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person.”

Candice See, Entry #3

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