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It's Showtime!

I read a report in The Washington Post this morning on the phenomenon of recording children’s antics for public consumption in the era of social media (Their Tube). It may effect their daily life. Example: A kid opens a present and narrates the event. The parent asks whom he’s talking to. “The viewers,” he replies.

The article didn't state it, but this phenomenon has its roots in the TV generation populated by baby boomers like me. When alone, as a little kid, I pretended I was on TV doing narrative for a story that existed only in my head. Perhaps it was the genesis of the storytelling I so like to do as an adult. I was aping something I saw, perhaps desired. Everyone wanted to be on TV. In the 1995 movie To Die For, Nicole Kidman played a television newscaster who remarked, “You’re nobody unless you’re on TV.” Now, everyone is on TV. We’re all somebody.

Does this change how we act? Are our children posed to pose in their daily lives? It cuts both ways. Any parent with a movie camera will tell you that kids are just as likely to hide from the camera as to ham it up. I’m guessing that the children of the new age are as likely to crave or reject attention.

We are perhaps training our future adults the art of self-promotion and it’s not altogether bad. Take it from a self-published writer. People like me must self-promote if we want anyone to consume our art. We have available to us all the same channels to entertain people we don’t know. Although I trust a novel has more import than a video of a kid doing tricks, the latter will get more eyes on it than the former.

Guess I better get out my skateboard.

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Jackson Coppley

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