Metternich and Mubarak

There is supposed to be something of an Internet revolution going on right now in Egypt, but have you noticed that the Internet isn’t directly involved? Oh there’s plenty of Twittering going-on, but it is all about the demonstrations and civil unrest in Cairo — not from those crowds. The Internet was turned off, you say, along with the mobile phone networks, but that misses my point. I think the Internet component of this social movement is being overblown. While it may be easy for a reporter to say that the Internet or texting or Facebook or Twitter is at the heart of what appears to be a multinational revolutionary juggernaut, I don’t think that’s […]

By |February 2nd, 2011|2011|71 Comments

Teens Don't Twitter

pinkprincessRodney, an artist/poet/landscaper who also happens to be my wife’s old boyfriend, got his mobile phone bill the other day and was shocked to see that Echo, his 16 year-old daughter, had the month before sent or received more than 14,000 SMS text messages from her mobile phone.  Yes, Echo has unlimited texting, but among her friends this behavior isn’t unusual and it says a lot about how media habits — good and bad — are changing in our culture.

If a typical month has 30 days that’s 720 hours, a third of which we’ll guess Echo spends asleep, giving her 480 hours of texting time per month.  Fourteen thousand texts (the number was actually higher, […]

The Global Village

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This week more than 20 million people watched on YouTube and other video sharing sites a single performance from the ITV show Britain’s Got Talent in which a frumpy spinster from Scotland sang like an angel.You can see her astonishing performance here.

It’s not the singing that makes me write this, though the singing was good.I lived as a boy in the north of England and knew ladies like this Susan Boyle.What makes me write about it is the effect she and her singing had on the Internet and the Internet in turn had on the performance and its aftermath.

The video file as presented on YouTube is just over seven minutes […]