Relating News to my Generation

On Wednesday May 7, 2008, I spoke with Mr. Little about different ways my generation takes to communicate and get their information. I knew part of the answer. He helped my find the rest with some interesting questions.

We started with the medium. With cellular phones covering most of modern civilization, it was easy to say that text messaging—or SMS—and cell phone calling were the top spot for getting through to one another. I based this assumption on my experiences with my daily bus rides, times when I visit my old high school, my college, and at work at a clothing store. Youth from 14 to 23 years of age are constantly on their phones, chatting or typing away. Strange enough as it is, most do not really need them. That is the object of a different point.

Emails and instant messaging in my mind would come in second place for being a popular choice for my age group. Internet is easily accessed from anywhere, at anytime. Third place goes to community websites. This is so because emails, as well as instant messages, are aimed directly at the person; they are usually the first places one will go when he or she logs on to the web.
As for community sites such as MySpace, Facebook, TagQuebec, or Doyoulookgood, they are very popular, and are an excellent way to contact an unknown person. Unlike cold calling, the Internet lets you slowly introduce your personality, or an image of yourself that you would like to show, so that the receiver does not feel uncomfortable. I must mention both media as one since one will most often retrieve a person’s email from the community site.

It is obvious that my generation is not touched be most news. The younger part of my generation will not go out and search the information; they will simply let it come to them (RSS feeds, ten o’clock news, etc.). In the case of RSS feeds, it is not general information that is sent to them, but rather the source of information that the person selected earlier.

Know why is all of this important? It shows partly how to deliver information and news to the younger population. Instead of political headlines (no wonder the younglings don’t search for news), the modern youth is brainwashed into appreciating headlines such as “Britney Spears does XYZ”, or “Snoop Dogg, Arrested!” The Arts & Entertainment section in most newspapers is aimed at the older generations also. It is less appealing for a teenager to hear about Johnny Cash, or some unknown Folklore artist than to hear of his or her favorite recording artist, or the state of the artistic industry.

With the upbringing of the modern youth in a world of technological outburst and mass media, their—and my—fragile minds become distorted and, sadly, cannot think on their own. Newspapers have done their best to stay at the same pace as technology by posting on the web. Unfortunately, it is pretty much the most that they can do. Even with the RSS feeds of news sites, only the techno-savvy from the older generations will actually use this function. The media that my generation uses to communicate and to transfer information, in my opinion, would be an indicator to newspapers as to where the world is going to get the latest on different happenings.

Happy reading,

Andrew MacLean, Intern – Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph