Breaking: Young people are more used to being filmed than earlier generations! And in fact they feel obligated to share their stories on video, so much so that they've "blurred the lines between reality and 'reality,'" according to Newsweek's new trend piece. The changes come because everyone has a camera now, as well as blogs and MySpaces to turn temporary emotions into permanent records. Good news for reality show producers, great news for Media Studies majors, but fantastic news for young people destined to become famous (and we all are totes gonna be famous, dude).
Despite giving the generation a stupid name (The Look At Me's), Newsweek concedes that obsession with documentation isn't entirely a generational phenomenon. But the Internet does qualitatively change our view of recording life. MySpace and camera phones document things that would previously remain secret or temporary.
If Ashley Alexandra Dupré were in the same scandal ten years ago, the call girl wouldn't have been so well-documented and wouldn't have stolen the news cycle from her client Eliot Spitzer. She wouldn't have felt like just another hot girl. But seeing her MySpace page (which was no more packed with self-promotion than the average teen I know) evaporates some of the mystique. So, thanks to the superdocumented life of Gen Y, everyone's prefabricated for their rise to fame. Like Ashley, we won't even have to do something new.