Evolving concepts of communication

April 1st, 2003 8:33 PM

Mark Pilgrim brings us this gem of technology at work in re-shaping the way people view the world:

A friend of mine has the DirecTV receiver with built-in TiVo, and three boys. TiVo is a godsend for young children; a single half-hour program can keep them entertained for hours, because they want to watch it over and over. The older two are old enough to remember life before TiVo, but the youngest one has never known TV to work any other way, and is too young to understand why it doesn’t work this way everywhere (like at friends and relatives). As far as he’s concerned, other people don’t have TV; they have some weird contraption that looks like a TV but only plays his shows at certain times, and then only the newest ones, and then only once.

That’s very cool. And just a tiny bit scary. I can’t even imagine how current technology has already affected people only a few years younger than me. (Here comes the really fun part where I get to refer to people as “kids”.) Today, all the kids use AIM. You can’t not use it. Similarly, but to a lesser extent in America, cell phones and text messaging are how people (especially young people) communicate.

I remember in middle school and high school trying really hard to teach people how to use a modem so that they could dial into my BBS and chat “online”. Non-geeks had some major problems with this concept. Today, it would likely be difficult to find a student in middle school who couldn’t grasp the concept of chatting online - except that today, instead of a point-to-point chat with the sysop, AIM (like ICQ, and IRC before it) allows you to talk to as many people as you want. How this all will affect a new generation’s underlying conception of communication and technology should be terribly interesting to watch.

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i think that mars is a really cool place i like that it is red and that it is really hot and it has frozen water

Posted by: mackenzie on March 10th, 2004 11:48 AM

greg, have you always attracted this kind of nonsensical attention? or are you doing something different with your site recently to acrue so many comments from lame-os who dont know where to post?

Posted by: shuli on March 10th, 2004 9:25 PM

This is a slow, but constant, thing. There’s something about my site or writing style (or google placement) that seems to attract people who can’t locate any of the punctuation or shift keys on their keyboards. Go figure.

Posted by: kasei on March 10th, 2004 9:31 PM