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Virtual Insanity

by M.G. Siegler


When every moment of childhood can be recorded and shared, what happens to childhood?

This isn't "new" (it's from December), but this story by Jessica Contrera is worthy of your time.

For the youngest members of the next generation, sometimes called Generation Z, the distinction between the online world and real life is fading. Parents are having to explain to their toddlers that the children whose whole lives they see on the screen aren’t actually their friends. They’re finding their kids methodically “unboxing” their toys, as if they’ve been paid to review them for an audience.
“Who are you talking to?” a parent will ask. “The viewers,” their children reply.
“For them it’s just normal,” Max’s mom, Shona Cole, says. “It wouldn’t even make sense to him not to film.”

To some, the ramifications of all of this are terrifying. But I'm not sure it's that different from older generations looking at newer tools of younger generations through the same lens. And I'm also still not convinced there won't be some "backlash against the screens" by the younger generations at some point. Anyway, all of this is good to think about and debate.


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