21 Mar

Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy: The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll — New York Magazine

Link: Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy: The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll — New York Magazine.

In essence, every young person in America has become, in the literal sense, a public figure. And so they have adopted the skills that celebrities learn in order not to go crazy: enjoying the attention instead of fighting it—and doing their own publicity before somebody does it for them.

…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?

This, from an article on a new sense of privacy amongst youth.   One of the most compelling aspects of the article is the notion that youth are archiving their youth.  My question is: is there an awareness of this archiving?  Is this a by byproduct of networked public space or is it the goal of networked public space?  I think the answer to this question is important for understanding the nature of this new public. 

Teenagers talking loudly on the train, or at the mall, begging to be noticed – not by the adults passing by, but by their peers.  They’re operating in an ad hoc private space of their peers.  Isn’t that what’s happening online?  It just happens to be recorded now.