It’s always interesting to see a less mainstream technology such as Twitter showing up in a very mainstream place like a top rating TV show… it’s sort of like being a teenager and seeing your dad wearing the same brand of clothing as you… You just sort of get the feeling that he’s only doing it to appear cool…
It seems to me that seeing Twitter on CSI signals a recognition of that technology, sort of the two ends of the long tail coming face to face for a moment. It’s like reading a novel where the main character is a webdesigner or a podcaster, rather than a lawyer or an accountant.
I’ve never watched CSI so I don’t know who they two characters are, but I really liked the exchange between them in this scene where they are looking through the victim’s Twitter page for clues. As they browse the page, one guys comments that because the victim was a blogger she may have left a clue amongst her tweets, and with a slightly sarcastic tone he says “Some people just don’t value privacy.”
His partner retorts that “They don’t expect privacy. They VALUE openness.”
His colleague snorts back… “Whatever.”
Listening to this exchange made me think about why some people are maybe less enthusiastic about embracing web 2.0 technologies. Whether they realise it on a conscious level or not, perhaps for many it really is about an idealogical struggle between two world views. Between valuing privacy or valuing openness. Many of our kids today seem to value openness more than they value privacy. Perhaps this gives an insight into why they are so willing to connect and share, so ready to engage in social networking practices, so willing to make connections online… perhaps they are growing up with a completely different mindset about the value of openness versus the importance of privacy.
As society’s values change it can create a shift in our ability to see things from a new perspective. My parents generation generally valued things like thrift, savings, hard work, stability, personal sacrifice, and yes, probably privacy. That’s quite a different picture I get of many kids today, where they seem to value things that are almost antithetical – living for the now, spending and materialism, flexibility, what’s-in-it-for-me, community and openness.
As an educator I have to keep reminding myself that there has been some fundamental changes in what my kids value compared to what my parents taught me to value. While I don’t want to put a blanket statement around this and make silly sweeping statement about “all kids today”, I think there is certainly some truth to the idea that there HAS been an underlying shift in values that cause our kids to see the world through a sightly different lens than we do.
And even more importantly, we need to make sure our response to this difference is not just “Whatever.”