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The new generation gap- communication and persona

February 8, 2007

If anyone is looking for a primer on the generation gap between teens, twentysomethings and the 30pluses, they could do worse than read Emily Nussbaum well researched and amazingly comprehensive piece in this month’s New York Magazine.

Emily highlights the 3 changes that define the generation gap.

1. They think of themselves as having an audience
2. They have archived their adolescence
3. Their skin is thicker than yours

She goes on to conclude:

“Right now the big question for anyone of my generation seems to be, endlessly, “Why would anyone do that?”This is not a meaningful question for a 16-year-old. The benefits are obvious: The public life is fun. It’s creative. It’s where their friends are. It’s theater, but it’s also community: In this linked, logged world, you have a place to think out loud and be listened to, to meet strangers and go deeper with friends. And, yes, there are all sorts of crappy side effects: the passive-aggressive drama (“you know who you are!”), the shaming outbursts, the chill a person can feel in cyberspace on a particularly bad day. There are lousy side effects of most social changes (see feminism, democracy, the creation of the interstate highway system). But the real question is, as with any revolution, which side are you on?”

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