The implications of the fast-paced technological advances in the last decade reach further than what they allow us to do, changing the very nature of social interaction. New York Times columnist Brad Stone addresses this issue citing that children today are growing up in a completely distinct technological world relative to those just ten years older. Such rapid advances could create generation gaps in skills and aptitude as small as 2 to 3 years apart. Stone cites entertainment and communication as two major areas where technology has impacted behavior (e.g., teenagers send more texts and play more online games than people in their twenties). Some worry that this environment could create a generation of children who will come to expect instant access to everyone and everything potentially harming their ability to perform in school.
Research by Campbell and Park (2008) focuses on the increased mobility of technology in recent decades. They propose that a shift to a ‘personal communication society’ is occurring that has symbolically changed the meaning of technology, created new forms of social networking, personalized public domain, and made the youth culture more mobile. Given the vast technological advances we have seen in the first decade of this new century it is almost impossible to imagine what changes are ahead and how fast they might come. Take heart though, if you can’t figure it out just ask the nearest eight-year old. She’ll know exactly what to do.
The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s