Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Random Thought

My last blog/email was about my new internet t.v. obsession, and I was being my usual obsessive self to my mother and she said something I can’t get out of my head.  First off, let me say my mother is a saint for listening to me ramble on about a bunch of nonsense.  She usually gets the oral version of these blogs/emails before they go out to all of you or she gets the completely and annoyingly detailed versions which I’m sure she couldn’t care less about.  Anyway, my mom said that she would never watch a television show on the internet.  Now for many of you this might be a completely unshocking thing.  In fact, now that I think about it, I’m sure the vast majority of people over a certain age would never even dream of watching t.v. on the internet.  It’s weird because before, the generation gap was always like, I’ve never known a world without AIDS or we’ve never had a t.v. without a remote control, and that’s not to say that these things don’t make a true generation gap (especially the AIDS one), but in the particular instance of internet television, it is simply because one generation doesn’t think of that as a way to watch television, and another one does.  The fact that I haven’t known a world without AIDS is simply because of the time I was born, it doesn’t have to do with a segment of the population actively participating or not participating in a cultural practice.

I don’t think I’m being very clear.  I was talking to my lesbian guru the other day about cable television and how older generations still sort of cling to the big three (ABC, NBC, CBS), which is why shows that don’t get super high ratings go off the air so fast on those networks.  She was saying that the older generations (I’m talking older than my parents), for the most part, don’t watch any other channels.  They grew up with the big three and they feel safe with them.  And it’s the same for internet television.  My parents generation, just doesn’t see the internet as a place to watch television, whereas I’m hard pressed to find one of my friends that doesn’t take time out of their day at work to watch last night’s lost that they missed.  It’s funny because in my generation, the big four (that would be ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) post episodes of t.v. on their websites (there was just a big strike about this very issue, interesting), and even though I know no one in L.A. without a TiVo (yes that’s right, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a TiVo), we will all still watch these shows online.  Now maybe it’s because our jobs don’t require us to do anything (I’m actually going to take myself out of this because when I’m at work, I can’t go on the computer really), but when I used to be an office production assistant, I got through a big chunk of entire seasons of television shows because I wasn’t required to do anything.  Maybe this is simply a Hollywood burden (the entertainment business is so infinitely specialized that most people spend most of their day waiting around until it’s time to do their job), but I don’t think it is particular to Hollywood.  I think it is particular to youth.  
And this, perhaps, is the point I’m getting at.  My generation grew up in front of a computer.  I got the internet in the seventh grade, I got my first email account when I was a freshman in high school.  When I went to college I got a laptop and would IM my roommate who was literally sitting with her back to me on the other side of our small cement box of a room.  I grew up in front of a computer, and am thus, extremely comfortable with it.  More importantly though, I grew up with the internet.  I vaguely remember what it was like to have to try to find your way on maps (thanks to a cross country road trip I learned how to read one very well), I vaguely remember what it was like to have to look stuff up in the phone book (my phone book is now sitting in a corner of my porch, being used as a cat box), I vaguely remember what it was like to actually have to call your friends every single time you wanted to make plans (I rarely actually talk to someone I’m making plans with now, it’s all done via email, myspace, and text messaging…in fact, I’ve booked entire flight trips to another state without actually conversing with the inhabitants of said state).  Suffice to say, I am comfortable with the internet as a tool and as a part of my life.  I embrace the new.  I have a myspace account (that took come cajoling), I have email accounts (plural), I have a blog (also took cajoling), I’m a modern lady.  
Maybe it’s my own self-absorbed ways (I’m not dumb enough to think that I’m not a little self-absorbed), but I just now realized that my generation was the first for this.  We are really the first ones who truly are an internet generation.  Left in the woods I’m sure most of us would not survive, but starting with my generation, left without a computer (and a cell phone) we find even the simplest of tasks insurmountable.  Do I think it makes us better or worse?  Who am I to decide?  But really it makes us different, in a way that isn’t defined just by when we were born, but by how we are and how we think…I don’t think we’ve seen socio-cultural revolution like this since the sixties.  
Peace, Love, and Generation myspace,
Julia

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March 4, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Computers, Culture, internet

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