Picking through my list of favorite bloggers this morning, I came across Jeff Pulver’s Understanding the Say Everything Generation, which is commentary on a New York Times feature from February 12, titled Say Everything.Â The gist?Â Today’s kids are different — uninhibited in what they say and do online, they’re forging a new kind of relationship reality that recognizes we have no privacy, and embraces openness on a scale never before seen.
Meh…. it makes good journalism, but I’m not sure that it’s really true.Â Yes, with MySpace and the like, it’s happening on a scale which has never been seen before but doesn’t anyone remember:
- The usenet? Mid 1980’s.Â You could regularly find people discussing their personal lives, and making friends online in the alt tree.
- The early text MUDS and MOOS?Â I know more than a few people who met online, and got married in meatspace later.
- The Compuserve boards of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
- The WELL
And what about the books that were written?Â Schuler’s New Community Networks, Whittle’s Cyberspace, Tapscott’s Growing Up Digital, and Rheingold’s Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier are just a few of the books that I can see by swivelling my chair in my office.Â
Don’t be misled by the NY Times.Â TheÂ “Say Everything”Â generation is a 20 year arc, finally reaching its peak.Â It didn’t start yesterday.Â