The World Is Changing

So, as you’ve undoubtedly read, Queen Elizabeth II of England has launched her own YouTube channel. On the homepage it features her 1957 Christmas broadcast TV message (“I very much hope this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct.”)

Queen Elizabeth

The irony here is pretty massive and intriguing, as YouTube (as a stand-in for online video more generally) becomes the even more “personal and direct” successor to TV itself. There’s also something incredible about the Queen officially launching on this user-generated content platform. Clearly worlds are colliding.

Along these same lines I was at an Xmas/winter solstice party yesterday afternoon and found myself at one point talking to an elderly woman named Gladys, who I mistakenly thought was about 65 or 70. She was 90!

Among other things, we talked about what I did and then the Internet. She told me that she used the Internet and search engines to look up prescriptions that her doctor had given her and learn more about them. “I trust the Internet more than I trust my doctors” she told me remarkably. She also expressed her fascination with Google Maps and I told her about StreetView, which she was unaware of. She was also unaware that you could use the site and others “as a phone book” and look up numbers and addresses. She seemed very interested in that.

Beyond her great mental and physical condition, I was struck by how generally sophisticated she was about the Internet for a person of her generation. Sure she’s an “outlier,” but she’s also representative of how the world is changing.

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