New York Times’ Well blog asks:
Are young people addicted to feeling good about themselves?
What is the source of such a cynical lede/article set-up, you might ask.
University of Michigan scientists have determined that “when given the choice, young bright college students said they’d rather get a boost to their ego — like a compliment or a good grade on a paper — than eat a favorite food or engage in sex.”
I read this totally differently from the Times. Why are we being chastised for choosing something wholesome and long-lasting over something materialistic and ephemeral?
I can only imagine if the study had found students chose the food or the sex over the compliment or good grade: the headlines would scream, “College students prefer carb loading and hedonism to values and self-worth!”
The New York Times post then goes on to quote the rise of recent books such as “The Narcissism Trend,” which point to our apparently latent self-absorbsion.
As I see it, all this study does is affirm that Millennials have a different set of values from the Boomers who preceded them. We as a generation are not fixated on wealth or material status. And, if this study is to believed, not even the much-bem
oaned hook-up culture is affecting us when we are forced to decide between sex and something like a good grade or a compliment.
One day, we may look back fondly on either the high mark in school or an off-hand compliment from a friend. That shows some appreciation and perspective — a perspective which I feel like we’re constantly told we don’t have in this culture of easy connections on Facebook or Twitter. But apparently students are saying in this study that we do have that perspective.
Most surprisingly, somehow this article seems to ignore that (last I checked) it’s a good thing that students want to do well…in school. So why is it in any way negative that students chose to get a good grade in school over sex? Why is this negatively spun the way it is? Can someone help me understand, please!
I don’t like shopping, but the one kind I will tolerate is hunting for tech goodies. Couple that with Black Friday deals from the comfort of my own laptop, and I’m all over it. This year, my little bro and I bought my dad a beautiful 42″ Sharp LCD 1080p TV. This of course necessitated discussions of replacing the current disc player in our family room, which, believe it or not, is actually a dual DVD/VHS player.
We were looking around at Blu-ray players, comparing and contrasting their up-converting abilities, cost, etc. One thing we talked about as a feature was WiFi/Internet-enabled Blu-ray players. This struck me as a strange idea. The advantage is, as advertised, the ability to stream content directly to the device from Amazon, NetFlix and other services. The attraction from the consumer’s standpoint is obvious (more media, in more ways) but it is a counter-intuitively strong move by manufacturers.
It is, in short, a great example of disrupting your own tech advantage, a message hammered home to me this summer by David S. Rose at Singularity University. He gave the example of Amazon disrupting big-box physical book stores like Barnes & Noble, and then even further disrupting their own very successful model (and margins) with e-book delivery via the Kindle.
But I’d say that the Blu-ray example could prove to be even more lucrative. By positioning themselves directly between the consumer and the content regardless if the data is coming from a disc or streamed off the Web, Sony et al. are ensuring that when the tipping point in data delivery arrives, they’ll be there.
There is a story in today’s New York Times about falling Blu-ray prices which touches upon the tension:
…Blu-ray manufacturers have placed themselves in a seemingly awkward position: They are selling a device that relies on people to continue to buy discs, but the same device gives them a way to download videos — bypassing the discs the machines were built to play.
But, as the article goes on the point out, this is not all bad. In fact, in my opinion, it is the kind of long-sighted planning which despite being rather rare nowadays, should pay dividends.
Compare this move to the current player in our house: it is tempting to say these are parallel examples, of devices simply looking to bridge the gap as the world moves from one standard (VHS) to another (DVD) — and now to a third (Blu-ray).
But that overlooks something very basic and very crucial: the VHS/DVD combo player was reactionary. It was something which grew out of the need to give people a way to watch both their home movies stored on VHS as well as their newest releases coming out on DVD.
The Web-enabled Blu-ray player is an entirely different set-up: it is an attempt to jump the gun (and to disrupt the Blu-ray market) just as the market itself is maturing. Only now are prices falling near the “impulse purchase” range of $100, according to the president of the Blu-ray trade group. And the mainstream switch to streamed delivery is not due for a number of years. But there it is, right now, the WiFi Blu-ray player, available at your local Best Buy, and for cheaper now than ever.
Tags: amazon, black friday, blu-ray, disruption, disruptive technology, dvd, netflix, new york times, nytimes, sharp, shopping, singularityu, sony, stream, streaming, streaming content, tv, vhs, video