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Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Influence of Technology on Generations

The technology of television shook the world, as one Time Magazine article in 1948 stated, “television showed every sign of being a young monster. In one year, TV's formless, planless growth has caused seismic-like cracks in the foundations of such industries as radio, movies, sports and book publishing.” Television strongly influenced the young baby boomers and continues to exert influence on popular culture through the broadcast of reality shows, 24/7 news broadcasts, and selected coverage of international events.

But the technology of one generation is not necessarily the technology of another. Television is not the technology of those born in the third millennium. Instead, these youngsters were born into the world of the internet, video games and hand held gadgets. The third millenials are not influenced as much by television as they are by the communication technologies that surround them on a daily basis.

Children born in 2001 entered a world where the Internet was already over 30 years old and Tim Berners-Lee’s hyper-text driven World Wide Web was over a decade old. Sony released its first version of the PlayStation in Japan in 1994, and followed with a North America and European launch the year after which was 22 years after the 1972 launch of the ground-breaking video game Pong.

The first commercially automated cellular network (the 1G generation) was launched in Japan by NTT in 1979 and in the early 1980’s cell phone networks were launched in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Mexico, Great Britain, Sweden and the United States of America.
Students in the third millennium have grown up influenced and shaped by advances in communication devices, video games, technology and engineering. In much the same way that baby boomers were shaped by the culture of television. For the boomers, cultural references, opinions of leaders and the influence of others were shaped by the introduction and widespread adoption of television, The same is now true of students of the third millennium who were shaped by the technology of the internet, gadgets and video games.


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