Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Refuting Future Shock

You may be quite familiar with the concept of Future Shock as proposed by Alvin Toffler in the 1970's. If you're not, he proposed that too much change, in too short a time creates an overwhelming state of being and stress.


Not being particularly concious in the 1970s (I was a baby through most of it) it's hard to imagine sufferers of Future Shock back then, but in the 1990s it is very easy, mainly due to the rate of technological development and change. Suffers of said syndrome were thought to be those in the older generations, who simply struggled tot keep up with the pace of change, my girlfriend's mum is one of them (she's still scared of fax machines).

So you might think that the internet would be a place less visited by those in their 80s, and especially something like YouTube. But think again, I came across an interesting post on the fruits of imagination yesterday that points to something happening over at YouTube, a chap in his 80s is posting his life story on video. Why? Because he loves YouTube, and thought he'd like to get involved, and maybe just maybe, there might be a few people out there who quite liked to hear his story. It's turned out a hit, he's had loads of responses and posted around 8 videos which are getting something like 50,000 views.

Which demonstrates several things:
  • Perhaps technological developement isn't as scary as we all think
  • Don't make assumptions over who you think uses technology
  • Old people can be interesting, lets face it they always have fascinating stories about their past
  • The importance of community no matter how young or old you are

1 Thoughts?:

Anonymous Jason said...

Hi Will -

Thanks for the link. It really is a great story - after reading so much about the power of web 2.0 blah blah blah, it's nice to see such a concrete example from such unexpected quarters. I read someone else describe feeling like they'd been in a dark room for a while and someone just turned on the lights.

I think the best testament to that is all the videos that people have been posting in response to geriatric 1927, many from other older people who also have been using these sites but didn't feel welcome or comfortable posting something, until seeing his example. Very cool.

2:37 pm  

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