Our generation can’t pay attention. http://digitallife.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/29/10534621-millennials-benefit-and-suffer-from-hyperconnected-lives-report.
“Those who are growing up in "today’s networked world and counting on the Internet as their external brain will be nimble analysts and decision-makers who will do well," some experts told Pew [researchers]. But others "expect that constantly connected teens and young adults will thirst for instant gratification and often make quick, shallow choices."
Richard Lanham’s “Stuff and Fluff” mirrors this sentiment. With the advent of the Internet and Web 2.0, he describes the seemingly perpetual challenge facing current advertisers, marketers, bloggers and social media enthusiasts alike—which is, how do you break through the clutter and get noticed? Information, after all, “doesn’t seem in short supply. Precisely the opposite. We’re drowning in it. There is too much information to make sense of it all” (p. 6).
This then, I think, raises the question as to whether we can ever really have too much information. Sure, democracy is nice, but are we better off unplugged and in the dark at some point? I, personally, have struggled to write this blog among the competing forces of Facebook and Bethenny Ever After that are calling my name.
Also interesting to me, though, was Lanham’s early questions about the validity of the information sources today. Gone is the era of beloved “antiques”—as “the hunger for stuff is paralleled by a hunger for style” (p. 3).
A likely culprit here: The iPad. (Damien gasps). Society’s one-stop-shop for all things life, news, social media, and Words With Friends related these days—what else do we need? Devices like this have increased, distracted and diversified our consumption of information. Sure, we might still access the New York Times online--but the stories compete with random, intrusive and irrelevant commentary at the bottom of the page. Music info might originate from NPR, but we only see it from a biased RT on Twitter. Many of us often find the screens littered with live updates from the 2 seconds we set the device down. Info. is. everywhere.
Ending personal thought: I was recently made fun of for buying a tangible CD instead of purchasing the digital copy of the album on iTunes/Spotify. Now, I like the "collectible" nature of the shiny, durable CD case (WITH the lyrics and fold out poster included, of course). In a world where we are all so addictively IV-ed to technology and electronics, am I (and, likely Lanham) the only dinosaur that still does this? Same with books--do the words not seem more real when you're thumbing the actual paper pages?
…Looks around the silent room awkwardly. Ok time for this loner to go!