education, technology, and everything else

Say Everything

Posted by Miranda on February 27, 2007

I got turned on to a very interesting article in New York Magazine: Say Everything by Emily Nussbaum via a post by Will Richardson, who got turned on to it via a post in Totally Wired: the blog written by Anastasia Goodwin. Who probably got turned on to it by… well you get the idea. It’s a connected world out here.

The article ought to be required reading for every educator, or for that matter any parent. Because we’re not getting it.

“It’s been a long time since there was a true generation gap, perhaps 50 years—you have to go back to the early years of rock and roll, when old people still talked about “jungle rhythms.” Everything associated with that music and its greasy, shaggy culture felt baffling and divisive, from the crude slang to the dirty thoughts it was rumored to trigger in little girls. That musical divide has all but disappeared. But in the past ten years, a new set of values has sneaked in to take its place, erecting another barrier between young and old. And as it did in the fifties, the older generation has responded with a disgusted, dismissive squawk.”
from Say Everything by Emily Nussbaum

And we have. I have I know. Shortly after I bought my first computer and got internet access, somewhere around 1990 or 1991, I set up a personal web site: Zelda’s. I called it Zelda’s because in those days the idea that what I wrote might be read by anyone kind of scared me, I wouldn’t use my real name. So the idea that for many members of this generation practically their whole lives are public, well it still makes me a little nervous.

The larger point is of course is that it doesn’t make them nervous, they find it natural. Us old folks can’t change it, we can’t turn back the clock. We need to work with it. We might even need to try it, even if it’s scary sometimes. I’m no longer as nervous as I used to be, if I google my name plenty of stuff comes up so I know how it sticks around. I know if you join in to the connected world, if you comment, if you post, if you do almost anything online.. well after awhile you’re going to build up a public history. I accept it just like I accept that Radio Shack is going to ask my zip code any time I go in there to buy anything (I don’t tell them just out of general principles). Nothing is private anymore. Live with it.


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