My 2-year-old daughter surprised me recently with two words: “Daddy’s book.” She was holding my Kindle electronic reader. Here is a child only beginning to talk, revealing that the seeds of the next generation gap have already been planted. She has identified the Kindle as a substitute for words printed on physical pages. I own the device and am still not completely sold on the idea.
Ever since technology was introduced, it’s been advancing at an exponential rate, so fast that even Generation Y (supposedly the more tech-savvy generation, compared to Generation X, at least) have trouble keeping up with the latest advancements. Children begin their Facebook and MySpace accounts at younger ages. I got my Facebook page when I was 19, and I hear kids of 14 now already discussing Facebook games. The next generation are exposed to technology at younger and younger ages.
Kids as young as 3 years old are already exposed to iPhones. Not only are they just exposed to these technological products, they have mastered the basics of how to use them. Their games are not the Monopoly board games or card games we played when we were young, their games are loaded on iPhones and Nintendo DS Lites.
Generation X has already been separated by Generation Y by the computer and the Internet, with the second camp being technology-savvy and the first having no idea how to use a computer. With technology moving along in an increasingly faster pace, each generation becomes even more separated. The secondary school students and the JC.poly students and the university students, all of them with no idea how much more the other groups are immersed in technology.
This is a zhu zhu hamster, an artificially-intelligent toy that can move around based on mechanisms, and make audio sounds just like real hamsters. In China, they are extremely popular and one particular man brought one home for his child to play with. The child, upon playing with the toy, declares that it is “not a toy. It is a PET.”
Technology has affected the next generation in ways we may never understand. While we understand a pet to be a real animal, one that needs constant attention and nurturing, one that needs food and toys and a litter box, the next generation may define pets as these zhu zhu hamsters: able to move, and ‘talk’ using artificial intelligence. Technology is changing the mindsets of the next generation, well is it for the better?
Technology is also creating standard de factos among people, giving them higher expectations for the technology they are immersed in.
While we were impressed with touchscreen when it first came out, the next generation are not just used to it, they expect and demand for it. Your phone isn’t touchscreen? Yawn, boring. In the same way that a child who was born after the Internet came about will never understand how people existed without the Internet, a child who was born after the touchscreen was created will never understand how people can exist without touchscreen phones and mp4 players. And all this while, the rest of us scratch our heads at their demands. Why? Because Generation Y was never born with the expectation that phones are touchscreen, while Generation Z was born with the expectation that touchscreen are a standard de facto in a mobile phone. It is the same for Generation X, who ponder why Generation Y needs to surf the Internet practically everyday, while Generation X does not feel the same need. Because they have experienced and lived through a time when it was not the standard norm to surf the Internet, ever.
Social behaviours like this don’t come without a hefty price. Being exposed to a faster-paced world causes the younger generation to move at a much more rapid pace, and expecting the people around them to do the same. They expect instant responses to their questions. And they are big on multitasking. Generation Y has already set the pace for multitasking, whether it’s performing tasks at the same time or switching over to different tasks over and over again. This type of behaviour spills over to the next generation as well. But what sort of implications does that have on society?
We become less patient with dealing with people who are ‘slower’. We expect responses to be instantaneous, questions to be replied with answers almost immediately.
We multitask, but we all know that multitasking doesn’t always give positive effects. If I’m sitting here studying Communication Research, and at the same time switching over to emails in the next tab, listening to “I Got a Feeling” and waiting for an SMS from a friend, how much work do you think I’d get done? How much do you think I’d really be absorbing? Multitasking may market itself to be a saviour of time, but it also causes us to become more distracted, and less focused on the issues at hand.
The next issue that comes along is something our generation is grappling with: privacy. More and more location-based applications like MOSOSO (finding people in a particular vicinity) and FourSquare (application that posts your location on Twitter) are coming out, and the next generation will be growing up with it. As they have not experienced a time when they were not exposed to location-based apps, they will come to believe that they must exist in order for us to exist. And that leads them to have more relaxation when it comes to privacy, and an expectation to have such apps and know everyone’s geographic coordinates at any point of time.
Our expectations of technology continue to evolve, and will continue to evolve as technology develops in more advanced ways. Then what kind of deeper media experiences will the future generations experience? What are the types of technology that will help them create expectations of what technology should be like?
Read the sequel to this post:
The iPad’s REAL Target Market.
The plastic crackled as it gave way from it’s prison. A few more cracks sounded, then she pulled the cap away from the bottle and took a swig. The water trickling was fresh, crisp and cool. Exactly the opposite of her tired mind.
She set the bottle down and picked up a pen. She sat there for a while, pen on paper, ready to write. Except she didn’t quite know what to write. The words just wouldn’t come out.
Frustrated, she threw down the pen and leaned back into the chair. Sleep had evaded her grasp and hadn’t come willingly for the past few days. She figured she might as well try and get some work done instead of lying around, waiting for the sleep that refused to come. It stayed at the sidelines, more in jest than in cruelty, waiting for the right moment to stroll up and take centerstage.
She shook her head and picked up the pen again. More than anything, she felt a certain sense of helplessness. It had been growing for a while, a mere though that began to expand the more she thought about it.
Music would always help, though. It brought about a sense of awareness, it could help people listen to what they needed to know. But what’s the point, she thought, if she could barely string two lines of lyrics together? Everything was all jumbled up in her head, and she couldn’t seem to sort them out.
She took a deep breath, and recollected her thoughts. Focus on one thing, she knew. Just one thing, and let the rap flow.
I wanna reach out but I gotta know, she suddenly realized.
How can I help and how does it show?
And with that, she began to write.
This was supposed to be a continuation of Shadow.
Anyone remember this cartoon back in the 80′s and 90′s?
Thundercats was a super super old cartoon I used to watch when I was a kid. The protagonists were cat-like creatures who walked on two legs and talked English. They wielded weapons like bombs and shields. And main man Lion-O (the leader must be a lion, after all since lions are the kings of the jungle) carried a sword which gave him powers like “sight beyond sight” (being able to see into the future), and a way to call the other Thundercats to him, by going:
“Thunder… thunder… thunder… thundercats! Ho!’
(Thundercat Hoes? Probably not their intended objective)
And now Studio4°C, a Japanese animation studio, has paired up with (read: gotten financial backing from) WarnerBros Animation to produce a new Thundercats animation series. Studio4°C’s credits include The Animatrix, Gotham Knights and Halo Legends. The series will air in Cartoon Network in 2011.
Wah, damn old-school can! They better not look like this anymore!
Although the only ones I really can recall are Lion-O the leader, Cheetara, Snarf that actual cat, WillyKit and WillyKat. And the evil Mumm-Ra.
Anyway, they probably no longer look like this. WarnerBros and Studio4°C have supposedly updated the looks of the characters and have given out a sneak preview of what the new Thundercats will look like:
Thundercats are loose!
P.S. This Halloween, must dress up at a Thundercat. Otherwise, when it’s released next year, everyone else will be dressing up as a thundercat.
I’ve got that feeling.
That very strange in-between feeling, where you don’t quite know what you want to do, exactly.
I want to run up and down, and rush home to push the bike out and go cycling.
I want to collapse on my bed from exhaustion and catch up with the sleep that I only had three hours of this morning.
I want to break out the scrap materials and make a scrapbook, but I don’t want to look at anything.
I want to shoot some photographs, but yet I want to close my eyes and be blind forever.
I want to meet up with everybody I know, and yet I don’t want to see anyone I recognize.
I want to scream, but yet I want my voice to be quieter than a whisper.
I want to do everything and nothing.
Oh chicken biscuit, what am I talking about.
Hey guys, my name’s Bouncy, and I am The Owner’s feline friend.
Me checking out what The Owner’s reading. Why’s she like chick-lit books so much?
Down we go! I always run down on the right side cause mah paws don’t have to stretch out so much.
To you, a simple rocking chair. To me… napping paradise.
Ooh. My cat toy. …… okay, what next?
What the hell is that? Seriously, what the hell is that? I can’t even figure it out. It doesn’t do anything. And you can’t sit on it.
Right… so past the rocking chair…
And onto the dining table. Here we go!
So this is me. Ignore that guy, that’s mah evil twin.
This is The Owner.
With her hair. Yes, yes, she likes it. Anyway, back to me.
So now that you’ve “seen” it all…
Get outta mah crib!
I finally got to see the interior of local clubbing hotspot Supperclub when a flea market was held there:
Entrance of Supperclub.
Yes, I was bored. Came too early, everyone was still setting up.
When the flea market finally started:
Sorry random guy, for turning your head into a giant disco ball.
This was still very very early, not many shoppers were around. There were supposed to be 2 celebrities at the event: Joanne Peh and Dawn Yang and I was hoping to interview at least one of them. Turns out, Joanne Peh only had ‘associates’ to manhandle the actual booth, she wasn’t around. And Dawn Yang was super late. I only caught a glimpse of her when I was leaving. She was walking up the staircase and I was walking down. And since I was already in a rush to get back to school and finish my assignment, I didn’t bother talking to her.
For the next assignment, I had initially wanted to go to the Wu Gaozhong’s exhibition at Linda Gallery in Dempsey Road, an artist creating art using pencil and hair. I thought that sounded interesting, until I saw some preview photos online:
WTH. Not my thing. At all.
I half-wish I did go though. Because at that very night, reports streamed in that the artist (and great donator to arts causes) passed away the day before. And I never got to see his art in person.
So the next obligatory assignment took me to the Arts House, where I could see the traffic jam coming from the National Day Parade rehearsals that were just nearby. Anyway, I was at the Arts House to check out the photo exhibition of amazing and completely ethereal pictures he took while in different parts of the world… underwater. And some of these photos are really the most awesome and awe-inspiring photos ever.
I like these though they’ve got this completely out-of-this world quality about them.
And then because there was another exhibition Cats of the World also going on at the exact same place, I couldn’t resist taking a look. They framed some very nice photos, but I didn’t take photos of the photos.