Some thoughts on Gen Y online habits

Great article in NY Mag discussing the online habits of Gen Y-ers.
Say Everything
As younger people reveal their private lives on the Internet, the older generation looks on with alarm and misapprehension not seen since the early days of rock and roll. The future belongs to the uninhibited.

Some points from this article, and some of my mental extensions….

Gen Yers have a different concept of privacy!
Many young Gen yers use the web to record thier lives, from blog posts, to posting of photos, to open linking to their associates, to public display of their virtual and non-virtual social lives – gen yers have no problem authoring a virtual authentic public self.

In a generation where the public lives of celebs such as Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie are under constant public scrutiny, including such phenomenon as the public posting of phone captured video sex footage, this generation have grown up in a virtual world which results in a different type of social transparency. { I wonder does this lend itself to an aesthetic of virtual authenticity?!?! I will post about this idea later. }

“And after all, there is another way to look at this shift. Younger people, one could point out, are the only ones for whom it seems to have sunk in that the idea of a truly private life is already an illusion. Every street in New York has a surveillance camera. Each time you swipe your debit card at Duane Reade or use your MetroCard, that transaction is tracked. Your employer owns your e-mails. The NSA owns your phone calls. Your life is being lived in public whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

So it may be time to consider the possibility that young people who behave as if privacy doesn’t exist are actually the sane people, not the insane ones.”

Indeed gen-yers seem to crave and appreciate authenticity!

Another article called The ‘millennials’ usher in a new era states

“For their Gen X predecessors, malls and cafes were among the few sanctuaries away from home. But many proprietors have restricted the amount of time teenagers can spend at these businesses, leaving cyberspace as the hangout of choice where youths can begin to exercise their independence.”

Whilst these zones are in the puiblic domain…these virtual places are often out of reach to the non-tech savy older generation.

The Australian Bulletin recently published an article about FaceBook called “FaceBook grows up

It states, “The fact that you could only see people on your network was crucial,” says Boyd. “It let you be in public, but only in the gaze of eyes you want to be public to.”?

It states that Zuckerberg, faceBooks founder, based the concept of FaceBook on the idea of the ‘social graph’:

“this is a mathematical construct that maps the real-life connections between every human on the planet. Each of us is a node radiating links to the people we know. “We don’t own the social graph,” he says. “The social graph is this thing that exists in the world, and it always has and it always will. It’s really most natural for people to communicate through it, because it’s with the people around you, friends and business connections or whatever. What [Facebook] needed to do was construct as accurate of a model as possible of the way the social graph looks in the world. So once Facebook knows who you care about, you can upload a photo album and we can send it to all those people automatically.”

FaceBook  NewsFeeds enable users to track their friends within the site…where changing ones status from taken to single published via a news feed can send some waves through the community pretty fast….

Whilst “Zuckerberg wants to keep you – student, graduate or graybeard – logged on to Facebook, organizing virtually everything you do via the social graph” – a question arises does the mapping of this social graph vary with age?!

This article does ask whether, as we get older, does this social graph bear less significance?

As a gen X-er myself, I can not say I am over whelmed with excitment when a girl from my high school bus several years younger than I, who I hardly knew in high school, wants to be my FaceBook buddy?!  Hmmm…..

1 Comment »

  1. katsoolu said

    Hi jax,
    Gen Y make me laugh but the unprecedented focus on them concerns me a little. Recently Vodafone published an article on their intranet site about some research they had done on Gen Y-er’s. Basically it was saying that they are a generation that require instant gratification and because of this want to get to the top of te foodchain 1. immediately and 2. without working for it. The common theme was “what are you going to do for me to get me what i want?!”. There was a bunch of other stuff around how Gen X deal with these types of employees. basically it said that Gen X-ers are cynical and don’t trust them. Was quite amusing. It actually received quite a bit a negative feedback from the ever cynical Gen X-er – saying – “what about us!! don’t we exist in this world as well? where is our research!” – kind of proved their points about us! btw – i’m not down with the whole bus-buddy thang either.

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