Tiffany Schlain, the writer and filmmaker who created the Webby Awards is host of an AOL show called The Future Starts Here. It’s entering its second season and I’m really enjoying it. The shows are only about five to six minutes long, but they manage pack in a lot of great content.
Generation X Parents, Their Kids and Cell Phones
The most recent episode, ParenTechnology, explores Neil Postman’s Book, The Disappearance of Childhood. Schlain features anecdotes about her own Generation X childhood growing up as the child of divorce. Schlain, born in 1970, is a mother, and recently faced the fears and challenges associated with giving her child, a member of Generation Z, a cell phone. I love how she went about it and wanted to share her approach with you.
Neil Postman is one of my favorite writers. I read his book Amusing Ourselves To Death when I was in graduate school at the University of Oklahoma. I loved the chapter, Shuffle Off To Bethlehem best. Here is a description of the 2011 book The Disappearance of Childhood.
From the vogue for nubile models to the explosion in the juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today−and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood.
Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into poprular entertainment and pitches both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds.
Informative, alarming, and aphorisitc, The Disappearance of Childhood is a triumph of history and prophecy.