Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Whatevs . . " - The Language of The Future

I do not know if Laurie Anderson's "The Language of The Future" is supposed to make me feel bad about the time I'm currently living in. I suppose most people back then that the future would be comprised of many "digital" advancements towards everything we know, but I suppose Anderson is emphasizing the change in our psyche that will happen because of the upcoming digital era, whom my generation grew up in.

I love the advancements made in communication for our generation, mainly the tools developed because of the internet. Facebook, Myspace, instant messaging,, blogs - these are all I know, really. These are the things I was raised on. I enjoy talking to people but often times; a text is simpler than a phone call.

What struck me most in "The Language of The Future" is Anderson's emphasis on "switching" and an "on again, off again" future. This notion of "on again, off again" reminds me of an article written by Robin Marantz Henig for the New York Times titled "What Is It About 20-Somethings?" The article is explains how that the current generation of 20-somethings in America are encouraged to follow their dreams and that any one is capable of doing anything; but not every one knows who they want to be. Supposedly, our society facilitates young people to wander until they are satisfied. Concerning 20-somethings, Henig states that "Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch. Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married." [...] "With life spans stretching into the ninth decade, is it better for young people to experiment in their 20s before making choices they’ll have to live with for more than half a century? Or is adulthood now so malleable, with marriage and employment options constantly being reassessed, that young people would be better off just getting started on something, or else they’ll never catch up, consigned to remain always a few steps behind the early bloomers?"

I definitely feel this feeling of uncertainty from the people I know who I grew up with, who are now just graduating from college but perhaps don't know who they are as a person completely yet. I don't know, perhaps this is the same for every generation; but I do agree with the notion that society definitely let's us 20-somethings go "off-again" and "on-again" as we please. This has always been possible, just now it's not such a bad thing.

Maybe Laurie Anderson was right with her philosophical meanderings of the future in "The Language of The Future." She could not have predicted what Myspace and 4chan have done to the youth of the future, but perhaps she prognosticated, not necessarily the language, but perhaps the state of mind of people of the future - who can pick-up and drop anything as they please.

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