Monday, September 29, 2014

In class activity: (1) explore the differential dimensions of the family of you (2) use this framework

Map the framework on the whiteboard or on a google drive drawing.

Homework viewing:

Documentary | Frontline: Generation Like (56 minutes)


What questions do you have for the members of Generation Like? Imagine this generation in 2054. How old are they 40 years from now? What roles might they have in a family? What will they be doing in 2054?

A2 homework due Wednesday:

A2 step 1b: Revise your persona family plan, what alternative future are they situated in?

WBCSD resources


8 thoughts on “Monday, September 29, 2014

  1. Dang! Generation Like is a trip. I’m thinking, we’ve all heard the term “attention economy”, but only as a vague concept – like “yeah, getting people’s attention is important”, but advertisers have known that all along. But here it is in very concrete terms: numbers of likes, views, etc.
    I’m reminded of, this forum for people who are really into beating the system in Frequent Flyer miles. Everyone’s playing a game controlled by someone else. Usually that someone else is benevolent, but sometimes not – e.g. in the FF case, sometimes they make your miles expire. In either case, you know they’re making money based on something you did. You might get some side benefits, but not the full slice of the pie.
    Anyway, it was neat seeing how “economy of attention” might really work. Who knows – in the future, you could even get “points” for how often people’s eyes are on you or something.

    Also, these quotes really stuck out:
    “It’s the paradox of generation like. These kids are empowered to express themselves as never before, but with tools that are embedded with values of their own.”
    “I say that, like, selling out doesn’t even exist as a term. I don’t hear young people talking about selling out. I don’t even— I’m not sure they even know what it means.”


  2. In the documentary I was most intrigued by when the teens were asked what “selling out” means, and none of them had heard of the term, or those that guessed associated it with “Selling out a concert.” Older generations had a lot of pressure to not sell out to big companies/brands, to become famous autonomously. Today, to become successful the paradigm has shifted, we are walking ads, on a very local level, of the companies we love. This can also be seen through blogs, where 7+ years ago bloggers made money by having google ads along the sidebars and their content was whatever they wanted it to be. Slowly, the paradigm shifted and companies approached them to sponsor the actual content of their posts, whether it be a new kitchen makeover with their appliances, or making french toast with their hawaiian buns.

    Regarding social media as a whole, it definitely creates new social standards and pressures unlike what I grew up with. But at the same time it allows you the power and freedom to become famous without the former channels of talent agencies, etc. The most famous example being that of Justin Bieber. On the other hand, social media does foster a lot of pressure for those “likes” and instant gratification, and even if you’re “liked” does that say anything about your actual social life? I found the summarizing point at the documentary very true: “You feel empowered with social media, but ultimately you are out there alone.”


  3. The documentary was really interesting because of how closely relevant it was to our generation (millennials). Sometimes I think about how social media is such a young concept in the grand scheme of things – the world wide web didn’t even exist before 1990. When I think about social media, I automatically think of Facebook, which in itself is almost disconcerting – how Facebook as a brand can become synonymous with an entire concept like social media. I can remember when Facebook started to become popular, which then makes me think about how many kids are going to grow up with Facebook as a constant in their life, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I am aware of the implications of a company having that much data/access to all my data but I choose to ignore it, probably because of many of the reasons mentioned in the show. There is a saying that goes “If you don’t exist on social media, you don’t exist. Period.” As somebody who can remember a time before social media took over, that idea is terrifying. But I wonder if that’s just a natural reaction to change. People used to fear that the invention of the printing press, which allowed for books to be printed and widely distributed, meant the end of the world. Maybe my anxiety about social media / the internet is just a reaction to easing into a new era. Or maybe it isn’t and should actually be a concern – I like to think I am selective about what I post on Facebook, but I am sure I’ve shared more than I would be comfortable with. Not to mention all the other social media I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on. Even if I am anonymous on the internet or nobody in real life knows me, those companies certainly do.

    The implications of “Generation Like” are disturbing and it’s making me wonder why I feel that way. I think lately there are many people who are experiencing disillusionment re: Facebook, myself included – basically not finding the experience all that enjoyable anymore, but still unable to withdraw completely. Even if I left Facebook, I could never leave social media – it’s hard to imagine how to interact with other people without social media as an in-between anymore. I know there are people in my generation who do not participate in social media at all, and while I have nothing against that decision, I think a part of me subconsciously judges them (like, there must be something different/strange about them, I’m not really sure). I think years from now, people will simply regard the internet and social media as constants like air, or what books or television are to us (but even tv is changing). And the form of social media is definitely not going to stay the same. I am curious about the social implications / effect it will have on the next generation – for example, how kids who have grown up with social media will differ in their interactions compared to our generation, or our parents’. Many people are afraid it will be a negative impact, but I am not so sure. I think technology will change societal norms to fit as well. The generations after us may be better connected and consequently more openminded (this also reminds me of millennials and racism I think what I am most disturbed by is the idea of free will and having agency over my thoughts and opinions – with all the invisible marketing, just how many of my inclinations are genuine and not a product of something else? In the future, will people’s attitudes be manipulated by technology, will choice exist? And it’s interesting, because the struggle over free will is something very human and an enduring theme in history. Despite the future evolving into something increasingly unfamiliar, many of the same questions repeat themselves over and over.


  4. The thing that stuck out the most to me as I watched the “Generation Like” documentary is the contrast from MTV attention in the early 2000s (when I was a teen) with what is going on today with the “attention economy” and the idea of “the consumer is your marketer”. I had no idea who Tyler Oakley was before this documentary and am so amazed that he is “famous” (because of his YouTube videos) and now tells executives how to advertise their products! Thinking of “Generation Like” in 2054, they will be in their ~50s. They might be a little like Dani Diaz’s mom, advising their kids on what gets the best attention on social media. However, as the documentary showed, wealth in this generation is about both attention and money. I imagine the landscape of self-esteem will be dramatically different in 2054 than it is today (as we saw with the kids in the beginning of the documentary who compared the amount of likes they got on profile pictures). Could social media presence also factor heavily into one’s socio-economic status in 2054?


  5. This, like every other discussion of social media and the internet’s influence on the millennial generation, tries to paint internet statistics as this scary Big Brother type data. Corporations have been using big data forever. It is only now that it begins to be more evident, as we see the changes in ads presented to us, app upgrades, etc. Trends in human behavior always determine business choices. I don’t understand why this is so scary. Anyone genuinely concerned (seems to me) fairly ignorant of what makes a business profitable. Figure out what people do, and then manipulate it. All the uproar about Facebook (and other companies) conducting experiments on things you do seems fairly conceited. Why are we so concerned about what Facebook does with our data? They use it to find trends, not to exploit specific things you did on the internet. Yes, they can figure out that you clicked X. But they do not know who you are. They do not care. They only care that fifty million other people also clicked X. I would rather have people personalize my ads and show me things that are applicable.

    Additionally, this bit at the end asking teens what they thought of selling out: misleading as all hell. Of course teens don’t know what selling out means. Nobody really understood the implications at that age, internet or not. There is no difference in brainwashing kids through the internet rather than newspaper and catalog ads. Business will always try to manipulate you for profit. If a change in medium makes any difference, then perhaps we need to educate our youth to always be alert, regardless of how information is presented.


  6. The only thing I could think about as I watched the documentary was that I did not wish to be famous at all. I learned long ago that your privacy is your number one asset and those who do the most, speak the least. In light of that, I can’t help but think that these kids have been poisoned by social media. If we have a generation of kids trying to become like Steven the you tuber instead of Steve Jobs the innovator, how will society continue to progress. Where are the parents in all of this? I think a lot of these kids need to lock themselves up in a room and just be okay with being by themselves. They should stop seeking validation from others. I guess that might be a very biased viewpoint but it really is disheartening to see a kid, who was once focused on improving his skill set in skateboarding, now being reduce to a clown for all of us to laugh at. Shouldn’t there be checks and balances in social media? How can these checks and balances be applied while still respecting free speech. These are questions that I hope someone solves as the new generation continue to validate themselves by this new social currency.


  7. The very idea of social media is complicated. The implications of the internet is constantly keep in touch and constantly publicize our information. The sole idea of empowering each individual to publicize one’s great qualities. It is definitely a valuable asset to the community to share and putting one out there into the world. The opportunity of one click spread to numerous feed notifications is opportunistic and connected through real time. The speed is insane. Social media allows for the sharing of obsessions and the number of likes. It seems as though the marketing game has changed to prioritizing the ux and ui design to incorporate facebook, twitter, and likes.

    I will be honest that I did not think about the numbers and profits helping companies over the use of social media. I am shocked and I am also immersed in the social media. I love instagram and when I’m on the internet I will consider myself half of beyonce. I will think that I have the opportunity to meet the level of a high fame all star singer. Social media brings me closer to the high fame. I can’t say that social media makes me feel bad about helping the marketing companies since we’re both benefiting.

    Though I do understand when it seems that I am closer and closer to my favorite popstar, they begin to lose value. Their market loses values.

    There’s never free lunch. If someone goes up, then someone must come down.


  8. It’s interesting to see how the conversation rolls out – there was one thing that struck me the most here. It’s idea of not just wondering about the effects of technology, but why it has actually happened. i think it was very crucial to understand the motivation behind a behavior before deciding how best to tackle it.


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