I’ve been hacking on personal computers since 1982 and on electronic toys since I built my first AM radio as a boy (196?). That means two things: I’m old, and I know a thing or two about technology. But I must admit, I’m somewhat overwhelmed by the crop of youngsters who are growing up with a cell phone, iPod, and [insert latest hip social networking site] as their standard communication tools. I still can’t figure out how to use that damnable auto text mode on my phone. I am just now learning about sites like Twitter and Utterz, that use SMS technology to link the Web, Instant Messaging, and cell phones.

You’ll note my new Utterz widget in the sidebar below. I think it’s pretty damn cool (kewl?), but a little confusing yet. I’m supposed to call one number to record a voice message, text another number to post a text entry, or email an address from the phone to upload video, photos, or text in one post. Huh?

I’m determined to keep practicing. Luckily, Utterz seems to have a very helpful support staff. I sent the first post attempt from my t-mobile cell to the utterz email address. Unfortunatey, Utterz didn’t recognize me. I’d registered the phone number with them, but my email came from my_name@tmomail instead of my_number@tmomail. But I received a “who are you” message with instructions and my entry was soon posted! Twitter seems simpler, but less powerful.

The point of this rant, if there is one, is that the world seems to demand that we are in touch, on the grid, within ear/finger shot of anyone who’s trying to reach us. And we must publish our daily movements, plans and mood swings as they happen. I have listened, with difficulty, to 16 year old PopTart Baby from J-Town High School babble on for 3 minutes or more about how she resents people who think she’s too young to understand some things. That’s because, of course, she’s too young to understand.

Ajmac has kindly posted a photo of “more flipping meds” for “whatever they think is wrong with me”. One young lady mentioned how drunk she is and how much she normally drinks (too much), while another was clearly posting from work about how lazy her co-worker is and what an ass the boss is. I’m sure her co-worker, the boss and any future prospective employers would love to read her thoughts. And now, they can.

This generation seems to be almost completely unconcerned with privacy. It requires a constant flow of data and source of entertainment. In the meantime, it is providing both for law enforcement officials. They no longer need a wiretap warrant, just a web-enabled mobile device and a Twitter account.

0 thoughts on “GenMo? The Mobile Generation

  1. In one of my former incarnations, (BTW we have some former employers in common) I helped develop the marketing plans for cell phones in Europe. This was when the batteries would only last an 2 hours max and the phone weighed about as much as a brick. One of the plans I worked on was how to sell the SMS feature which was little used. Basically the message facility comes free in the channel and so was developed as an afterthought to make use of the airwaves. My plan, which was revolutionary at the time, was to address the college kid & teen market. This was when the pager market was just starting to break into more common usage. I had great projections for how this market would take off, with various ideas on how it could be exploited. But my bosses thought I was being overly optimistic and scaled back the rollout plans in favor of trying to improve GPS applications, though there were some technical delays in making these possible. When this market finally took off, the company I had been working for was caught out and had to work very hard to catch up, pulling out my plans, which had been shelved, and finally putting them into place. Too late, though, they were eventually swallowed by a bigger fish.

    I do, at times, suffer from a few guilt pangs knowing I played a small part in the success of this feature.

    The funny thing is, I hardly ever use any of these kinds of features myself!

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