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Generations in the Social Media Era
#1
I've been thinking about the social media era and how it has been a different experience for different generations.

As an Xer, social media reconnected me to a lot of people in my past. It allowed me to make a mid life assessment of myself in relation to peers I had not seen in years or even decades. It has felt like being folded back into my past. How might it be different for other generations?

Boomers have experienced an even greater technological leap than Xers in terms of what can be done with smartphones/constant online presence compared to how they lived in childhood. I do know some Boomers who are more active on social media than I am - they tend to be the ones who travel a lot, which they can do because they are retired.

Millennials remember the world before smartphones and social media, but they have encountered this era at a younger age - with different life priorities. 

Homelanders are the ones who are fully in the social media age. Their entire lives are recorded on Facebook - from when they were in the womb to the latest Christmas pictures.

So what is it like for each generation encountering the age of the social at their particular age location in history?
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#2
At 63, and nearly broke, I am likely to spend the rest of my miserable life in a community that I have outgrown except for finances. Thyis is America, and money is everything. Those who have it can indulge themselves like sultans. Those who lack it are the victims of those who live like sultans.

It is unlikely that I will get to reconnect to old friends that I had in California or Texas, so the best that I can hope for with social media is to vicariously meet complete strangers who might have something to share other than the banalities of small-town life.

A perspective: I was born closer to the horse-and-buggy era than to today. Unfortunately I was brought up among people still thinking as if it were still the horse-and-buggy era whose only accommodation to modernity was to technology, and then only for materialistic ends.

The only positive for me is that as a male, the numbers are in my favor. Asperger's makes me a difficult match.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
I'm 62, which would make me a late wave Boomer. I am not involved with social media.

In one sense my situation is similar to pbrowers' Due to my age, I now feel that many possibilities are closed to me-my young adulthood is now long past, leaving little time for course corrections, let alone charting a new course.
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#4
At 71, I have no business thinking in terms of course changes or new beginnings … but I still do at times. The techie in me is still attracted to the new and exciting, though much of it gets rejected out of hand. I put social media in that category. While my wife uses Facebook to share with family and friends, I simply ignore it. And forget Twitter, which is vastly worse.

What does concern me is the path to the future, which looks scary, to be frank about it. I'm glad that I won't have to be around in 50 years, but worry about my grandchildren who will.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#5
For my generation, the PC was something we encountered in elementary school age. I think we all had to teach our parents how to use it, and the "internet" thing.
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#6
(12-28-2018, 01:31 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: At 63, and nearly broke, I am likely to spend the rest of my miserable life in a community that I have outgrown except for finances. Thyis is America, and money is everything. Those who have it can indulge themselves like sultans. Those who lack it are the victims of those who live like sultans.

It is unlikely that I will get to reconnect to old friends that I had in California or Texas, so the best that I can hope for with social media is to vicariously meet complete strangers who might have something to share other than the banalities of small-town life.  

A perspective: I was born closer to the horse-and-buggy era than to today. Unfortunately I was brought up among people still thinking as if it were still the horse-and-buggy era whose only accommodation to modernity was to technology, and then only for materialistic ends.

The only positive for me is that as a male, the numbers are in my favor. Asperger's makes me a difficult match.

I just saw an article which stated that the advent of social media contains an extreme irony, and that is that social media has actually made people less social than they were before we had it. Whoever famously said that if you want a friend, get a dog, wasn't very far off the mark.

Your opening paragraph here brings to mind something I read awhile back which discussed the fact that at least one-third but maybe closer than half of today's population is quite luckless in that they are forced to live paycheck to paycheck with just one unexpected expense throwing them into ruin. And they are mostly unlikely to escape their plight save for a unexpected stroke of luck such as a lottery win. And as a result they were named Generation Limbo. From that I was able to come up with the perfect acronym for limbo. Lower Income Mostly Beyond Overhaul.
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#7
(08-07-2019, 10:57 AM)beechnut79 Wrote:
(12-28-2018, 01:31 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: At 63, and nearly broke, I am likely to spend the rest of my miserable life in a community that I have outgrown except for finances. This is America, and money is everything. Those who have it can indulge themselves like sultans. Those who lack it are the victims of those who live like sultans.

It is unlikely that I will get to reconnect to old friends that I had in California or Texas, so the best that I can hope for with social media is to vicariously meet complete strangers who might have something to share other than the banalities of small-town life.  

A perspective: I was born closer to the horse-and-buggy era than to today. Unfortunately I was brought up among people still thinking as if it were still the horse-and-buggy era whose only accommodation to modernity was to technology, and then only for materialistic ends.

The only positive for me is that as a male, the numbers are in my favor. Asperger's makes me a difficult match.

I just saw an article which stated that the advent of social media contains an extreme irony, and that is that social media has actually made people less social than they were before we had it. Whoever famously said that if you want a friend, get a dog, wasn't very far off the mark.

Your opening paragraph here brings to mind something I read awhile back which discussed the fact that at least one-third but maybe closer than half of today's population is quite luckless in that they are forced to live paycheck to paycheck with just one unexpected expense throwing them into ruin. And they are mostly unlikely to escape their plight save for a unexpected stroke of luck such as a lottery win. And as a result they were named Generation Limbo. From that I was able to come up with the perfect acronym for limbo. Lower Income Mostly Beyond Overhaul.

We have more social media, but at the same time we also have a more cut-throat world. Social media make us see differences more easily. We used to have to get along with people in our community, but that is no longer necessary. So more of us can be "anal sphincters". Social media form a technology in their own right, but that technology is no unmixed blessing. Social media have some of the effects that motor vehicles and broadcasting have on people in expanding a universe but weakening human ties and exposing some of the spiders in our souls.

As for "get a dog" -- dogs do not drive cars, do not command the remote control (although one dog that I had watched TV, especially when dogs and when any cat of any kind were on the air, and his responses to seeing the Exxon tiger and "Baby"* in Bringing Up Baby were entertaining; he tried to jump into the TV when he saw and heard lions, probably because lions have a dog-like social structure), and they pay no attention to social media. I let it be largely superficial, letting it be good for wishing people happy birthdays and congratulating them on anniversaries. Dogs remain dogs.

Much of the communication on the Web is awful. If you think the discourse on political issues is awful, then contemplate how horrible it can be when sports rivalries become the focus. It might be humorous that one team's PA system introduces a rival team with the Evil Empire theme from Star Wars... but in social media it gets personal.

Cunning operators have discovered how to use social media to promote their political agendas, and they push the worst of their agendas. We have seen its use in hate sites (until people with a stake in people staying on social media choose to shut off access), child pornography (until law enforcement shut that abuse down), and terrorist sites (OK, ISIS sites can be considered hate sites, and if you try to get videos of beheading you will get attention from law enforcement as if you were seeking out child porn). There is little question that Bad Guys of the past would have been as adept at using social media as they were (like Hitler, Goebbels, and Streicher) in using the more primitive media of radio, newspaper, and cinema to their nefarious ends. Eventually people associated with Churchill and FDR decided how important the same media were in reaching people and being more convincing about preserving and defending what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature". Maybe it comes down to that again in years close to us but still yet to come. Maybe we can avoid apocalypse this time.

But what follows? Maybe social media will transmute in unforeseen ways as the 4T passes and a 1T solidifies. We may fully repudiate cut-throat culture and use it as a means of pushing the community (yes, keep track of elders in the nursing home or otherwise shut in because such is civic duty). Polarization will give way to blandness -- safety for the kiddies who cannot be trusted with hate sites and violent ideologies, and promotion of the banality of personal life.  

*"Baby" is a leopard.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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