We, the Web Kids

One more thing: we do not want to pay for our memories. The films that remind us of our childhood, the music that accompanied us ten years ago: in the external memory network these are simply memories. Remembering them, exchanging them, and developing them is to us something as natural as the memory of ‘Casablanca’ is to you. We find online the films that we watched as children and we show them to our children, just as you told us the story about the Little Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks. Can you imagine that someone could accuse you of breaking the law in this way? We cannot, either

Someone who was 6 years old on the 7th of September 1998 will be 20 years old on the same day this year, 2012.

That’s a really important date, the 7th of September, particularly in 1998, because that’s the day that Google was founded. Google is only 14 years old!

Here’s something even more surprising…. The first Harry Potter book was published in June the year previously, 1997. Harry Potter is older than google. JK Rowling is 47 now, and was 32 or thereabouts when she started writing the series. All information retrieval and storage in the Harry Potter books is built along the classic lines of libraries and literature. Which isn’t surprising considering the series conception predates Google. Nonetheless, even if JK had started 10 years later I suspect that we would still have had the same basic knowledge structure. JK is a child of books and libraries, after all.

I’m looking forward to finding out how children’s fantasy stories will add elements of magic into the mundane (think talking books et al in Hogwart’s libraries) now that so much that was once only in the gift of magic is available via your iPad (think talking books et al in Hogwart’s libraries).

We will be finding out soon. Back to that anonymous 6 year old, who will be 20 years old this coming September. That’s the first wave of true internet children. There’s even going to be a whole bunch of 20 year olds who have now got their own children.

In short, the internet kids have become adults.

I’ve been hearing, and repeating, for years the old adages about generational adoption of new technologies and have long considered it axiomatic that past the relatively simple behaviour of early adopters and affluent population segments, there comes a point where the culture is driven by people who have known no other state of affairs, have only known of the technology being considered.

In September this year will see a whole bunch of people hit 20 years of age who have never understood, or experienced, a world without Google.

And so, we can finally start to look for answers to the question of how the internet is changing us. Marshall McLuhan told us that the characteristics of the medium, will change us, regardless of the message transmitted and I see no reason to doubt his insight.

(as an aside, I’ve heard so many people use the phrase ‘the medium is the message’ to justify advertising spend being placed online that I’m convinced that McLuhan is fairly widely misinterpreted, at least within the advertising industry)

This rather wonderful essay is a great place to start. We, the Web Kids by Piotr Czerski This is the ‘web kids’ telling us with clarity and intelligence how they approach this world and its inhabitants and structures. Some of it is wonderful, some of it some people may find unsettling. It is, however, most certainly authentic and heartfelt.

The original Polish piece

A bit more surround information



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