If you’re having trouble understanding why and how it’s become normative for the broadband generation (12-24) to document their entire lives online, I recommend Emily Nussbaum‘s Say Everything in New York magazine. My favorite section is from Clay Shirky of NYU, who has an amazing gift for metaphor:
Shirky describes this generational shift in terms of pidgin versus Creole.
“Do you know that distinction? Pidgin is what gets spoken when people patch things together from different languages, so it serves well enough to communicate. But Creole is what the children speak, the children of pidgin speakers. They impose rules and structure, which makes the Creole language completely coherent and expressive, on par with any language. What we are witnessing is the Creolization of media.”
That’s a cool metaphor, I respond. “I actually don’t think it’s a metaphor,” he says. “I think there may actually be real neurological changes involved.”