Everywhere you go you see disdain on the younger peoples faces when approached with the idea of paying for something that should be free. People buy one bottle of water and fill it up from the tap all week. Because, duh, its water! We need this to live, don't try and charge us for it. I've noticed that most of the people who come up to my desk at work and ask me where they can get bottled water are over 35. That is not to say all 35 year olds ask for bottled water. Its the same 35 and overs who also have to ask me how to find something on the internet for them because they "just don't get computers." And that's when I defined to myself what Our gap was.
For starters, It wasn't computers. Contrary to the popular myth on the part of the younger generation... most people nowadays, of any age, can run your basic computer. You can even teach them a few cool tricks to show to their friends:
"No No Judy, you have to RIGHT click it and a little menu pops up!"
But even if they aren't computer literate, that's not what trenches out the gap. No, what makes the gap is this:
When they sit down at their computer with their newly purchased 20 gig external hard drive and top of the line wireless mouse, there is still one thing that scares the bejesus out of them.
Its The .com Gap.
"Out with the old, in with the new," is... well... old... so throw it out. For our generation its "Out with the Old, in with the Youtube." These people just don't get the internet. And so they are never on it.
At least, not for any other purposes than checking email, opening funny pictures that come in their email... and occasionally venturing into that mythical know it all creature known as Google.
And this is where the gap begins. To be more specific, The .com Gap is mostly due to what I like to call "The Youtube"... more later.
I kept thinking, The .com Gap (not to be confused with TheGap.com) is just a reflection that we are the products of our parents, those lovable hippies. Free love and drugs for all. And I thought, the key word there must be "free." They thought that there were somethings in this life that should not cost money and that we should share and share alike. Love, happiness, sorrow, desperation, life, existence, and any other such thing that comprises a human being. Unlike the children of the post WWII generations who turned out to be apathetic deuchbags thanks to their parents who wore the happy 50s facade not so well... we turned out to be people who actually kind of liked each other. Why cant we all just get along? Why can we just make each other laugh... oh but we can.
On The Youtube.
That is the beauty of it. To know there is a community out there who simply wants to share the human existence. They don't ask for anything, just that you watch them if you want to, and you do the same in return. as if to say "Anyone who wants to know about me can know about me, I want to know about all of you" We're all in this thing together...
That is reality.
Survivor is not... Sorry.
I thought, is that the gap? When entertainment is free are we free to entertain? To do whatever we really think and feel? If there is nothing at stake then there is no reason to do anything other than what you want. But when money enters the picture, out goes the true human existence.
Hence do we have two generations, one that wants you to pay for your happiness, and one that doesn't?
No, thats not it, lets not start crying Communism here. There is a big difference between a livelihood and a life, duh.
Still, I kept thinking that what we are seeing with Youtube, Tivo, the original Napster (which started it all) and DVRs being offered almost as standard with cable hookup, is a cry from the next generation telling companies that we refuse to pay to feel the gamut of emotions far beyond the reach of our everyday lives. Cause if people really are trying to better themselves, the next step is understanding the world at large. And that is what these let us do. We don't care about your product. It wont make us happy. So shove off. *three Tivo clicks*
We would rather share these things.
I started to think about the idea of what grammy award winning singer/songwriters could write if they didn't have to worry about being dropped from a label? Or if more actors could be merryl streep or daniel day lewis and just do whatever the f*ck they want! Thats the point right? Let art be art, and let existence exist? We are all the entertainment we need, and we shouldn't have to pay for it.
This is the Barack Obama generation. They don't want a politician that's been paid for. They want who they want. And no amount of clever advertising will change their minds about it.
This is the Family Guy generation. Who wouldnt be told by the muckity mucks that something they loved wasn't allowed to come back.
This is the Whole Foods Generation. People who don't care if they saw the label in 20 commercials, this nondescript Whole Foods bag of cookies is what they want to get.
Heck, they want it so much they'll even pay for it! THey donate to barrack obama, they pushed family guy dvd sales through the roof, they made whole foods a chain. What a crazy idea, people paying for the things they want without having to be told by someone else what those things are?
And that was it.
That was the message we had learned from our parents. It wasn't for things to BE free, it was US to be free to choose what we want when we want it. To spend our money and live our lives the way we want to, not the way you tell us to, which is for your benefit and not ours. It was the ads. Youtube, commercial free... just enjoy yourself. You are never forced to watch an ad, unless you want to. They don't even have those annoying ads that pop up and block the page.
The .com Generation just wants the freedom to choose for themselves. We want to know that the possibilities in our life can be as endless as the internet. Cause we've tasted it, and we want more. Just type whatever address you want and go there, its your money and your life. We are another generation of human pioneers. Not of uncharted lands, but of the uncharted ideas about communities being made of and paid for by free flowing individuals, not product placement.
Because sometimes, I just dont want a Redbull, no matter how much you tell me I do.