Facebook generation: growing up in public

Sunday 20 October, 3.30pm until 4.45pm, Cinema 2 Generation Wars

Whether being hailed as agents of radical change or fretted over as potential victims of grooming and cyber-bullying, the first generation raised with the internet is a constant source of scrutiny. Does being constantly in the spotlight of social media – where nothing is truly ever deleted – fundamentally change the experience of growing up? As Kent’s now ex-youth police and crime commissioner Paris Brown discovered very publicly earlier this year, online indiscretions can have serious offline consequences. So are the supposed digital natives dangerously cavalier about matters of privacy and sharing or are they simply embracing the new realities of digital privacy in the age of Google Glass?

Has the digital age equipped youngsters for a brave new world of unheralded connectivity or left them floundering in an information overload? Is social networking a toxic influence that distracts young people from making real friends, or simply a tool that makes it easier to keep in touch? And is today’s generation gap defined by when you first surfed the information superhighway? Will life ever be the same again?

Steven Bartlett
managing director, Wallpark Online

Andrew Keen
entrepreneur; founder, Audiocafe.com; author, Digital Vertigo: how today's online social revolution is dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us

Rob Killick
CEO, Clerkswell; author, The UK After The Recession

Victoria Mapplebeck
senior lecturer and multimedia director, Royal Holloway, University of London

Aaron Stead
economics student, University of Portsmouth; president, Debating Society; alumnus, Debating Matters Competition

Joel Cohen
communications manager, BeyondMe

Produced by
Caitlin Comins politics student, SOAS
Georgia Haigh sociology student, LSE
Orla Oakey history student, University of Oxford; alumnus, Debating Matters Competition
Aaron Stead economics student, University of Portsmouth; president, Debating Society; alumnus, Debating Matters Competition
Recommended readings
InRealLife: a virtual disappointment

A new film is a missed opportunity to challenge the climate of anxiety about our use of the internet.

Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, spiked, 20 September 2013

Is the Web Driving Us Mad?

Tweets, texts, emails, posts. New research says the Internet can make us lonely and depressed—and may even create more extreme forms of mental illness, Tony Dokoupil reports.

Tony Dokoupil, Daily Beast, 9 July 2012

The right to privacy in the Age of Facebook

In an era of voluntary revelation and involuntary regulation, we must find new ways to defend our private lives.

Norman Lewis, spiked, 9 November 2009

Andrew Keen on the Cult of the Amateur

Andrew Keen is not a happy man. It’s been more than half a decade since the dot-com-bubble burst and Web 2.0 was born, and Andrew Keen is no longer a ‘believer’. Instead, Silicon Valley has left him disillusioned and bitter, a temper amply demonstrated at a sold-out evening book-launch at the ICA.

Alex Hochuli, Culture Wars, 3 July 2007

The second generation of the Internet has arrived. It's worse than you think.

Rather than Paris, Moscow, or Berkeley, the grand utopian movement of our contemporary age is headquartered in Silicon Valley, whose great seduction is actually a fusion of two historical movements: the counter-cultural utopianism of the '60s and the techno-economic utopianism of the '90s. Here in Silicon Valley, this seduction has announced itself to the world as the

Andrew Keen, Daily Standard, 14 February 2006

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