Monday, April 28, 2008

Different Now


I remember being a kid and having nowhere to go and nothing to do, no public spaces and no conception of what one would be like. TV was TV, I wasn't allowed to watch it on the weekdays, but what else was there? Now you see Wookiepedia for Star Wars fans and an entire ecosystem of fan sites and communities for every show out there, as well as every hobbyist subculture, of which politics is in many ways just one.

Despite always thinking that the internet was a very awesome thing, I've been rather skeptical about some of the more extravagant enthusiasm of some of its boosters. I've seen it as a tool to do a lot of things, and quite a wonderful tool. And while it's certainly affected life in a lot of ways, I never quite saw it as transformational in a revolutionary sense.

But when I start thinking about what it must be like to grow up with the internet, I realize that I was probably a bit too skeptical. The internet generation is going to grow up with a fundamentally altered sense of their relationship to information and knowledge, to each other, and to the world generally. It's going to be a new generational divide.