A couple of years ago, my then 10-year-old son declared that “everything is the best it could ever be.” He was quite sure that, new iPhone in hand, nothing could surpass the (then) current marvels of the Modern World. I was just as sure that everything could and would be surpassed. Twenty-five years ago, if you told any adult that typewriters would be as extinct as the buffalo, no one would have believed it. Today, 95% my 19 and 20-year-old students have never even touched a typewriter. I have seen card catalog cabinets busted up for firewood (not really, but you get it). I remember when floppy disks really were floppy. Now there aren’t even disks! I remember when…. excuse me, “Hey, kid! Get off my lawn!!”
Anyway, a group of friends and I got into a discussion about what has changed in the last ten years. I asked them to come up with sentences that would have made no sense to someone in 2002. Here is what we came up with:
1. There’s an app for that!
2. You can download movies to your tv and control it with your Android tablet.
3. Did you check in? I’m the mayor of this coffee shop.
4. ”I’ll Facebook you.”
5. ”I’ll Text You”…”I’ll IM You.”
6. I just got this 4D camera.
7. I can de-friend anybody I want to.
8. I am going to put all these thumbnails on my flashdrive.
9. I asked a silly question and got over 60 responses from all over the country in a matter of a few minutes.
10. I 3D printed a new handle for my suitcase.
11. Call Homeland Security.
12. Dang it! I got busted by a red-light camera.
13. Did you see the Tupac hologram?
14. There’s a fee for checked in baggage.
15. Let me check Snooki’s Twitter feed.
16. I drove over a cliff because I trusted my GPS.
17. Hey, wanna Skype?
18. Gay marriage was approved by voters in several states.
19. We elected a black president. Twice!
20. I store my books and music in the cloud.
21. I don’t know what time that show comes on. Everything’s on the DVR.
22. Send that PDF to my FTP.
23. Stream it.
24. I’ll download the podcast from iTunes.
25. Park in the Blink so we can recharge the car.
26. thx ttyl kbye o_0
27. ”Can I haz cheeseburger?”
28. Do you have a Tumblr?
29. Would you take a picture of my paycheck and send it to BofA?
30. Occupy Wall Street
31. Fracking destroys water supplies.
What about you? Can you think of any more words in common use that would not have made sense in 2002? We’d love to hear them. Who knows what is coming, and what will be obsolete by 2022.
Young people today just don’t read enough, right?
If you’re under the age of 30, you’ve probably been accused of this at some point in your life. In fact, it seems that every upcoming generation is stereotyped as lazier than the one that came before it. We’ve all overheard the same complaints: “always up to no good with their fancy devices,” “always at their computers or watching too much TV.” “Why, back in my day…” You know the drill. In the end both sides come to believe that kids in the old days were both more capable of entertaining themselves and walked uphill both ways while they did it.
But what if the public perception of youth culture is just a little bit wrong? What if young people actually turned out to be the age group that reads the most, and frequents the library the most? Could that be? A survey conducted by Pew Research Center aimed to find out the truth about youth and books. Their results show that not only do 18-24 year-olds read more than any other age group, but that many are more open to it because of the availability of e-readers and e-books. So before you curse the decline of print publishing, think of how it might serve the next generation of iPad, Kindle, and Nook readers, and read on to find out more about the Pew Center’s findings.