literacy practices a generation apart

things i spend way too much time thinking about (that many of my youth participants and younger friends - or those who appear to be aging backwards - seem to be able to handle without much drama or trauma):

- subject line of an email
- title of playlists
- caption when posting a link to facebook
- the title of anything public, really - e.g., flickr album, picasa album, photo caption,

ok, i'll admit it - grooveshark playlists and plain ol' email subject lines give me agita with a chaser of huge insecurity complex.  how do others do it, i wonder?  this isn't just a split of 'natives' and 'immigrants' of the wonderful wide web; there's something uninhibited about young people's acts of making themselves public that astounds me... still.  a carefree-ness, a willingness to recognize and embrace the fleeting temporality of such literacy acts; acts and practices that, perhaps unintentionally, create a different sort of generational shift.  not necessarily chronologically generational, but perhaps demarcations according to when one joined the smartphone revolution?  the points along a timeline when one jumps on the social media bandwagon - a conscious decision for some; as natural as cool august weather in maine for others.


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hui hui said...
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EC said...

I wonder if your agita is partly the result of your being so deeply immersed in and so attuned to the literate world, and if the kids' ease and fluency is not partly the result of their not being "readers" in the same way. Of course this is not entirely it, but I am just worried that those of my students who never, ever read are handicapping themselves.

OTOH, the publicness with which my students live their lives strikes me as similar to the publicness I see in Shakespeare's plays, where Othello, for instance, lives his life, just as Warren BEatty said of Madonna, in public. So maybe their textuality will eventually be Elizabethan, and I am just a fearful old fart.