Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

More commentary on a generation

I think that the core of what I was getting at last time I talked about my generation is the tension between being called digital natives and being capable of feeling nostalgia for analog.  I eat out of these cereal bowls that were passed down and are probably 40 years old and they remind me of the Brady Bunch and sitting at home after school because I ate chips out of them as a kid.  I think about cassette tapes and bootleg concert recordings and VHS, and then Prodigy, and AOL Instant Messenger, and early Napster and Livejournal.

I am, I suppose, a bit of a digital native in that I started blogging at 19, in 2001, one year after I sold my first piece of (online) writing.  (Incidentally, I often think of my college years sometimes as sort of muddled, but in retrospect, it’s pretty clear what I wanted to do: write.)  I joined Facebook in September 2004, just a few months after I graduated from university, and Twitter in 2008, when I was 26. I suppose nativism can be relative.

Generation Catalano, Generation XY, whatever.  If culture is just comprised of references, traditions, relations, then I stick to my guns that we are in-betweens.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve been meaning to circle back to these posts for weeks. As a child of 77, I never fit in to the clear Gen-X life of my older brothers, but am far too old to join Gen-Y or the Millennials.

    I have a blog that has a toe dipped into the 90s, I’ve had email accounts since 92ish, and have an extensive cassette collection gathering dust in a closet at my parents’ house. We’re not digital natives, nor the digital pioneers of the Gen-X and pre-Gen-X worlds; but I think we have a unique generation-given peek into the command-line underbelly of computers, and to remember a world of even more variation in user interfaces. Digital explorers? Lost Generation 2.0?

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