There's no such thing as cyberspace.
William Gibson was wrong (whew). It turns out that there's no such thing as cyberspace. A few things collided in my mind recently. One: I've been reading this report: Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Teen Content Creators and Consumers. Two: Last Saturday night I had a conversation with friend of a friend a party about the isolation and impersonality (did I just make up a word?) of "cyberspace". And three: I have this meme I inherited from I know not where: "Always-on Relationships." Obviously, as a civilization, we're still processing, just beginning really, to feel the impact of the expansion of our network beyond physical space. We're still updating our idea of what community is, what workplace, education, conversation is, in this new environment. Those who are going through the process of change marvel at the young ones who had no such preconceptions, and seem to stretch effortlessly past the old boundaries. I love the idea of "social networks" because it contains within it the recognition that "the net", at least the human part, has always existed. Instead of having only light and sound waves as the communication protocol, now it also includes IP and those things we've built on top. Some interesting tidbits from the Pew report:
- 40% of online kids who live in cities remix and mash original creations out of the web
- 38% of all online teens say they read blogs, and 62% of those say they only read blogs of people inside their social network
- 57% of internet-using teens and 50% of teens overall (representing 12M US youth) self-publish on the internet
- 90% of kids who blog, and 72% of those who don't, use IM to communicate with their friends, and 55%/35% use SMS (I'm guessing this is different in Europe)