The Screen Age

This was incredibly fascinating article and a sign of our times (and future). I am more interested in online video than I ever have been and feel in many ways that I’ve just discovered it.

I know, I know… that sounds really weird considering that I’ve been around online video for quite some time. In fact, I signed up for YouTube on April 6th, 2009 – over 7 and a half years ago!

And YouTube, in many ways, hasn’t changed much. It’s still about folks uploading video content and then sharing that with the world. It was exactly that when they first started and it’s still very much the core product.

But the scale, the size, the impact…! It’s either fundamentally challenged and changed existing industries and markets or it’s built new ones from the ground up.

This next generation, though, which is one that’s growing up into this world, is looking at online video entirely different. So different, in fact, that I struggle to understand most of it.

As a parent of two relatively techno-savvy children I am seeing this now more than ever and am generally concerned; not terribly so but rather curious to see where it all lands.

There’s no question about it though – YouTube is changing the very fabric of their childhood and we won’t entirely know if that’s a good or bad thing until much, much later.

The Coles keep a close eye on what Mark Adam views, because they are aware of how difficult it can be for a 3-year-old to distinguish between real life and what he sees on screen.

But they wonder what he understands about the videos he sees, and what it means to him to be in a video himself, like on Annie’s channel and on “Little Boys Channel,” the place Shona will occasionally post videos of him and his brother Max.

She hasn’t posted any new videos in months, but just like Max, it sometimes seems like her 3-year-old is still talking to his audience.

“Hey, guys!” he says again, looking at no one in particular.

Who is he saying “hey, guys” to?

“Just me,” he answers. “I’m saying ‘hey, guys’ to myself.”

Go figure.