Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ypulse Mashup 2007 Post 2: Teens are social while in isolation

Throughout the Ypulse Mashup I was feeling older and older. I use email, which definitely marks me as an adult. It became clear that as an adult I am communicating with the world quite differently than teens. We heard over and over again that young people rarely use email and the primary use for email is to communicate with adults and business people. Teens may say that they "emailed" a friend, when in fact they mean that they communicated through a MySpace or Facebook page because they connect with these social networking websites throughout their days.

Cell phones also seem to be more of a lifeline for teens than they are for me and many of my GenX cohorts. 18-year-old teen entrepreneur Aseem Badshah of said that he has his phone with him at all times and even made a cuddling gesture while telling the crowd that he sleeps with it and brings it into the bathroom when he showers. He made an interesting point about youth, saying "we like to be social when we're in isolation."

This desire to be always-connected is striking to me about our culture in 2007. It wasn't all that long ago that people walked down the street without phones or iPods, and, yet, today, it seems rare to see people who are walking/driving/waiting alone without some form of technology to connect them or entertain them. Even groups of young people often walk down the street while each is on their own separate phone.

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