Creatures Of Our Generations

Earlier today I was officially introduced to Google Buzz on Ari Herzog’s blog Ari Writer. That link will take you to his synopsis on it, as well as a video showing what it’s all about. Very informative stuff.

The main thing about Google Buzz is that you have to have a Gmail account for it all to work. I don’t have a Gmail account. Truthfully, it’s never occurred to me to get a Gmail account. Not that I don’t understand how many people use it; I just have my own hesitations in even thinking about using something like that, and therefore I won’t do it.

What are those hesitations? It has to do with giving out too much of my information to one entity. I talk to many people who use things like this, and I notice that overwhelmingly most of the people are much younger than I am, at least 10 years younger. Not that there aren’t some people who are my age or older that aren’t using these things, but it’s not common.

I’ve been wondering more about these types of things, wondering why it seems to be going that route. At what point did the generations decide it was such a good thing to be sharing so much of their personal lives with so many other people? At what point did recognition of such a high magnitude become vogue?

Sure, I guess one could look at me and say “you share things about yourself through your blogging.” I’d have to agree with that, but at the same time, what I share is controlled. The skeletons are buried very deep; not that I have many of them, but there are things that I’ll never divulge anywhere. You know what’s even better? I’m the keeper of secrets for many more people, the one person they felt they could trust with their lives, and since loyalty is at the top of my list of morals, with trustworthy being second, those things are theirs and mine forever.

You don’t see that kind of thing these days, though. I hate to be the one saying this to you folks who are parents, but at some point your daughter, if she’s either attractive or is interested in some boy, is going to have a picture taken of her that she’s going to later wish she hadn’t done, if she hasn’t already done it. Truthfully, it might not even be her taking it, but she knows about it. That’s something I don’t think women from my generation would have jumped at; as it is, there are women my age who won’t even put a picture of themselves up on Facebook or Twitter, for fear that someone will recognize them, and will give very few personal details either. That second part I fully understand, but the first… I guess I get it to a degree, but I’m of the mind that once you establish yourself in some fashion online, putting your image next to it will keep others from thinking you’re someone else with that same name. Then again, I’m Mitch Mitchell in a world competing with Jimi Hendrix drummer, so my take on that would be a little different. lol

I remember being at a seminar in 2008 when one women in her early 30s was talking about a problem she was having with the school her 12 years old was going to. Seems she gave her 12-year old daughter a cell phone so she could call her mother whenever she wanted to talk to her, and whenever she wanted to talk to her daughter. A teacher took away her phone because the daughter was using it during a class, and the mother was livid, saying she had the right to talk to her daughter whenever she wanted to, even if it was during a class. I was stunned at that; when I went to school, parents weren’t even allowed in the classroom, then they were encouraged to come to the classroom after I was gone, then parents can now be arrested if their kids skip school and now parents want to talk to their kids while in the classroom?

Do you notice the differences in how people’s perceptions on things change depending on being in different generations? I’d love to hear it if you’ve noticed it in any way. Oh yeah; Happy Valentines Day!

Microsoft Store

23 thoughts on “Creatures Of Our Generations”

  1. Hi Mitch, thanks for the link love and I’m honored you were inspired to write the above. You don’t indicate your age, and I’m bad at guessing ages from pictures; but considering I know people of all ages with gmail accounts (let alone yahoo or hotmail), I don’t buy your argument that webmail is for the young.

    Or, is your argument not about webmail but only gmail being Google? If so, I’m confused. Then again, my confusion may be part of the generational differences you allude. I’m 34.

    Have a great V-Day yourself!
    .-= Ari Herzog´s last blog ..Introducing a 5-Part Series on Enhancing Blog Comments =-.

    1. Hi Ari,

      I’m 50. And it’s not the point as to whether you know some people who are on gmail, it’s the percentage of people at certain ages who might be on it. I know some people my age on gmail, but very few. I know a lot of people on either Yahoo or AOL or even still some Hotmail accounts, although I thought they closed, but not gmail. My wife signed up for a gmail account because a friend of hers talked her into it, but has never gone back because she doesn’t trust it. When all those people some months ago had their gmail accounts hacked, I felt like I was vindicated because it would be hard to hack into my email or ISP’s email on that kind of scale.

      But look at things like texting. I love texting, but I’ve found that most people my age just won’t do it all that often, so the people I talk to most often are folks at least 7 years younger than me, which is a generation. Overall, I think the mores of younger people today are that they’re not afraid to be much more open in sharing both good and bad things about themselves as we were in the day when we were the same age. I’m not necessarily saying one is better or worse, just that it’s different (although, I’m seeing more and more how people are realizing that sharing the bad stuff about themselves is harming their business or opportunities to get new jobs).

      1. What is the stigma of gmail that sets it apart from other email providers, in your mind? Is it because one gmail address can access multiple Google services? Though, isn’t a Yahoo address the same (albeit on a smaller online portfolio level)?

      2. It’s that, plus the integration of everything else Google does, as well as the tracking. Yahoo never tracked everything you did in the same way, although I’ve almost never used my Yahoo email address, but I did create one so I could do IM back in the late 90’s and just kept it. None of the other email services ever went the route that Google has gone, and I have to admit that kind of monolith freaks the heck out of me. Other people were scared of the seeming monopoly they kept saying Microsoft had, but I never saw it the same way that I do Google.

        I mean, think about it. In an instant Google can take money away from you by banning you from Adsense. They can take your page rank away from you and inhibit your business, which is what they did with this blog. They can close your gmail account without warning. They can confiscate any files anyone uploads without warning. They can close your Picasa account and your Google Apps account & everything else without warning. They can even block access to their entire service without notice. They can shut down your Blogger account if you happen to have that. And sometimes, they’ll shut you down just because you said something bad about them.

        At the same time, they’re tracking you. Not sure if you saw my post from the 4th on Google Toolbar. Truth is they can track you that way, and they can track you through Desktop and they track you every time you search for something. Even if you tell them you want to opt out, they do it anyway and then gear marketing towards your “interests” because they figure they know better than you what you’re looking to buy, even if you’re not looking to buy. I clear my Google cookies once a week, but I don’t really know if that’s doing any good. If I permanently block the cookies, then I can’t access anything at all, so that’s pointless.

        When you have all your eggs in one basket, one little slip and it’s chaos. I don’t like the idea of my email remaining on the server like it does in Gmail. Sure, I know my ISP keeps records of my email; I’m not that naive. But I just don’t personally like all the integration like that. It’s kind of like buying an all-in-one stereo system. If one part goes, the whole system is trash.

        More than you were expecting, isn’t it? lol

      3. Rubbing my eyes, I’m confused why you are attacking gmail and not webmail in whole. Your argument about tracking and the man being in charge is relevant to any webmail system — even AOL Mail.

      4. You are confused Ari; I’m not attacking gmail. Mine is more of a gripe against the entity known as Google, not gmail specifically. I only mentioned gmail once in my last response to you.

      5. Hey Mitch, Hey Ari!

        I watched a documentary the other night (yes – I’m Canadian – we still like education in our TV programming ;). It was about Google.

        Their stated purpose is to consolidate and reference ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE.

        Let me repeat – their public goal is to consolidate ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE…

        Did I also mention that they are a CORPORATION whose SOLE responsibilty is driving profit for shareholders?

        If you are naive enough to think that with the power of ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE in their databases that Google can continue to “DO NO EVIL” then oyu might want to investigate how Google is working with the Chinese government to LIMIT and CONTROL the amount of information the Chinese people have access to (By the way – that demographic alone represents 1/3 of the people on ENTIRE PLANET.

        So yah, I’m with you Mitch…I like Google and I use Google exclusively for search and a few other services as well…BUT consoidating ALL OUR HUMAN KNOWLEDGE in the hands of ONE CORPORATION is like a George Orwell prophesy come true.

        DO NO EVIL (yah – you make a profit don;t you Google? Then by definition someone is at the losing side of the stick!).

        If you’d like to kow more about insidious power, please read my commentluv post below. My father in law lived this!


        – Don
        .-= Don Power´s last blog ..Then They Came For Me – a Cautionary Tale =-.

      6. It’s a scary proposition, Don. In a way, I kind of get their belief, that being that if all information is available, there are no more secrets and thus no reason to ever need to protect oneself against anything. I tend to go the other route, not trusting everyone who has my information, or at least any information that I didn’t willingly give up.

  2. I must agree just a bit. Most of the older I know 50-80 are indeed using AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail etc, but I disagree as to why…it seems to me those were the only ones available at the time they signed up and not being as adventurous or curious as the younger crowd, they just don’t need to or care to switch.
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..I’m Looking For Launch Partners – $20 OR Three DoFollow Links For You! =-.

    1. So Dennis, why would someone 30 or 40 feel the need to switch, since Gmail is still relatively new?

      1. Need was probably the wrong word. I’m just sayin’ teen to 40 or so are more inclined to go for the “new and improved” as it were.
        .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Blog Updates: New Category-Pages Done, Like It? =-.

      2. I agree with that assessment. For instance, for some reason I have an aversion to loading Skype, but even Oprah is on Skype. I also don’t have a webcam yet, though I’ve been thinking about one more lately. I’m thinking if I were younger I might get a kick out of being able to talk and see my friends on the computer; right now, not so much.

      3. Long ago everyone told me to Skype, so I did…with one person for a while; gone.

        Now it seems to be the in thing again…who knows.
        .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..WANTED – Keyword Research Expert(s) =-.

  3. Everything Google makes is fantastic, including Gmail. But that’s another discussion. I agree it is unnerving how technology continually encroaches on privacy; it is like standing in a rising tide. I never thought about how much I was sharing with Google. Since they keep every search query ever entered, they know more about me than any other corporation–and in some categories, maybe more than any other person. Now all of the identities we have, whether through facebook, twitter, gmail, or whatever, seem to be coalescing. I don’t think it is all bad; it may encourage integrity, for one thing–but it feels like we just all need to pause everything and figure out what is happening with privacy and personal information.

    1. That’s the thing, Brad. In America, we gripe about what we perceive as the erosion of our rights through things like Carnivore (it’s been retired, as the government has something else that supposedly works better), and the FBI is at this moment trying to convince the Justice Department that it should be allowed to tap into our cellphones without warrants, yet people will allow Google to take all of their information freely. Well, the way I see it, I will pick and choose what information they can have on me and from me. If I search, I understand they’re tracking that. But they shan’t have my email sitting on their servers, and they shan’t be holding onto my files and whatnot. Now, it could be because I grew up during Nixon and the final days of Hoover, when we first learned just how much the government was tracking us, and during the days when we knew the KGB was doing the same thing, only worse in the former USSR which colors my beliefs, but so be it.

  4. I don’t know if this counts (or if it’s just a case of tech-phobia gone awry) but one of my older relatives is afraid of using a computer for fear that he might press the wrong button and the whole thing will explode.

    Unfortunately when he confessed that to me I wasn’t (and still am not) tech savvy enough to know how explain to him how that would just not be possible, so I think I was pretty unconvincing in my argument. Even now, he still thinks PCs can explode and it’s my fault!

    Major inter-generational FAIL
    .-= lazygirl´s last blog ..Hilarious Spam Comments #1 =-.

    1. That counts, LG. I think it explains why most of the folks I know come to me to fix things. I think that explains why I get mixed up sometimes; I know my age and my memories, and yet there are things I do that make my wife and some of my friends wonder how I made it this far along and how I could possibly be my age. lol

  5. Interesting discussion here, I’m glad you pulled me in Mitch. 🙂 Wonder if anybody would like to hear a late 20’s point of view?

    I think apart of what Google is capable of with the multi-service integrations, another thing to consider is our comfort zone. For each generation we have our own ways to deal with/do things; the definition of ‘what’s cool & what’s not’ will continue to alter, adjust itself based on what’s been fed to us from the media – We are the way we are educated. For instance, I’m probably among the 5% of my group of friends who blog/freelance as a living. Most think I’m crazy but it’s so common nowadays even thought they don’t think so. 🙂 People are used to it, trusting that ‘I’m ok with what I am for now, why change? Plus, majority of people who’s my age is doing the same!’ I think peer pressure will contribute to some extent once it happens.

    Another reason, it’s just not the ‘priority’ for some people right now. Their audiences are not there. ‘I can do well without it so no change required.’

    Our personalities, environments, experiences shape who we are, not necessarily age. If we can be convinced, I’m sure anyone of us can be well embracing some changes. 🙂

    (oppss.. I’m microblogging again, sorry Mitch) 😛

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..7 Features to Brand, Market, Manage with MarketMe Tweet =-.

    1. Good stuff, Ching Ya. I think you’re right in saying it’s not necessarily age, but I also tend to believe there are some differences that are totally because of age. I was talking to another consultant friend of mine who hates the computer. He said that he’s 7 years older than me, so that when computers came into vogue, he was already 10 years into his profession and had learned how to do everything he needed to do without one. So, he just doesn’t want to deal with taking potential steps backwards even if they could help him move forward. Seven years is a generation, and I hadn’t thought about it like that until he said his piece. I wonder if there’s anyone your age who knows what a slide rule is anymore, let alone how to use it. 🙂

      And you can microblog as much as you’d like. lol

    1. I left them out, JC, because at the time I hadn’t heard about the privacy concerns, especially Buzz. Sure hearing a lot about them now.

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