As I have spent the past few years analyzing the differences between the Boomers and Gen X, a yawning chasm has developed between Gen X and the teens and twentysomethings behind us. Years from now I still think we'll be mulling over the cultural divide between people who came of age using MySpace and Facebook, and those who didn't.
While we geezers (aka parents in their thirties and forties) mull over the technological and privacy implications of social networking, the generation behind us is adopting it as a given, and pushing the frontiers of sharing.
Case in point: a start-up called Shoeboxed was launched last July by a group of Duke University undergrads and recent grads. At first glance, I could wrap my mind around Shoeboxed's main concept. The service allows you to input all your receipts in order to keep track of them in one place. Got it.
But then they added a strange social-networking spin. Users are encouraged to "flaunt" their purchases by sharing them publicly. And then other users are encouraged to "let out your inner Mean Girl and go nuts with our stereotyping feature. Using the mouse is almost as easy as real-life stereotyping!"
Because we all know that what the world needs is more stereotyping! The Shoeboxed labels include "ghetto fabulous, attention whore, trust fund baby, teenage mother, playa, playa-hater, white trash, techy geek dork"....you get the idea. The prominent butt shot of the "ghetto fabulous" icon stands out as being particularly gratuitous.… Read more