Answering my own questions since 2001

The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll

I wish I’d written this essay, found via Beth. Emily Nussbaum has a smart, insightful article in New York magazine entitled “Say Everything”. It’s essentially about the privacy gap between the bloggy, MySpace generation and their parents. It clearly articulates so many of the half-formed ideas I’ve had kicking around in my head:

But maybe it’s a cheap shot to talk about reality television and Paris Hilton. Because what we’re discussing is something more radical if only because it is more ordinary: the fact that we are in the sticky center of a vast psychological experiment, one that’s only just begun to show results. More young people are putting more personal information out in public than any older person ever would—and yet they seem mysteriously healthy and normal, save for an entirely different definition of privacy.

I regularly remind people that Paris Hilton’s rise to fame was because of a sex tape. We all seem to have forgiven and forgotten about that, which seems slightly baffling to me.

Regardless, this essay dovetails nicely into the survey I just ran about why we blog, and some creative writing that I’m doing as time permits. It’s recommended reading for anybody in the social media space, or anybody trying to figure out the current redivision of fame.

3 Responses to “The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll”

  1. Derek K. Miller

    I made a comment related to this during my interview with CBC Radio about why I was blogging about my colon cancer. Numerous people, while saying that what I’m doing is good and useful for others, question why I’m doing it. There are many reasons (narcissism, perhaps?), but one is that, as I said, I’m 37 but after years of blogging seem to have the privacy instincts of someone about half my age.

    Ms. Nussbaum is also hardly the first to make this point. There was some interesting discussion here a year ago about how teens treat the public Internet as a kind of super-sized private teen-space, and I recall other essays on how “grownups” are worried that future bosses will see what embarrassing things kids are posting online. While forgetting that those future bosses will probably have that stuff online too.

  2. BB

    Paris & sister Nicky were on the cover of Vanity Fair and on the party girl circuit reports of every entertainment tv show long before the sex tape. The tape may have been a boost, but they’re famous because of their inherited wealth, and it’s wealth that saved her from the stain of that tape…and the one that came after it…and all of her other ridiculous exploits.

  3. The Oral Sex Epidemic and Judy Bloom | DarrenBarefoot.com

    [...] A young mother herself, Flanagan doesn’t arrive at a lot of conclusions, but does provide some thoughtful commentary. I was reminded of the other long, well-written magazine article I’d read recently about how different things were for kids these days. [...]

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