The Twilight of a New Era

I just watched Twilight last night. In all honesty, it was a very entertaining movie. The story had a simple but solid plot. The soundtrack was amazingly suited to the movie. After the movie, I had to know who Stephanie Meyer was so I googled her.

35, mom of three, Mormon, nothing flashy, none of the usual glitz and glamour. That’s very similar to J.K. Rowling’s profile. I was pleasantly surprised.

The world is changing yet again.

In the 70’s, celebrities were extremely influential and at times idolized. The Beatles, Saturday Night Fever, and all those stuff. People were glued to the radio, to the TV and to the big screen. This was also the dawn of the modern technological era.

The 80’s was bit different. People were constantly thirsting for the new thing. For some oddly unknown reason, the music from the 80’s are the least loved across generations. It’s like they had their own world. I never did understand new wave music.

The 90’s was the MTV generation. Grunge, sex, and booze were all unmoderated on TV. While the 70’s was widely known as the hippie generation, I don’t think the general society accepted these behaviors. Society was indeed enamored by the scandalous lives of celebrities but that was pretty much it. The 90’s was like the devirginization of society.

The new millenium is characterized by rapid technological change. Mobile phones, internet, Google, and the iPod are some of the hallmarks in our current era. The current era is a very interpersonal era. Connectivity is at its pinnacle.

I’m no historian but I think my depictions of the past few decades are agreeable to a great many. That was a long aside. So, what do Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling have to do with my short critique of modern history?

Well, Twilight and Harry Potter are phenomenons of the internet age. Although the first Harry Potter novel came out in 1997 (according to Wikipedia), mainstream popularity was definitely reached after the year 2000. The thing is, there has never been a time in history where children and young adults held such a dominant force in the world. My best guess is that it’s all thanks to the internet and to modern technology.

The internet is changing the way people discover things. They no longer wait for the old media to dictate what’s in and what’s out. Can you imagine what the old establishment would have thought of people like J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer? I think they would have just been booted out of the door due to lack of credentials and/or connections. Check it out for yourself. Harry Potter and Twilight were not published by big name book houses.

This is a phenomenon and we’re standing right on top of it. This is the dawn of the wired world, where the masses will start to follow persons and ideas rather than establishments. This is definitely the age of the proliferation of tribes, as Seth Godin puts it. The question is what do we do with such knowledge?

It’s all entirely up to you and me.

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