Internet+ Effects: Waining Interest in History and Increasing Awareness of the Present

There’s lots of whining about the waining interest in history.  None’s to blame for history’s decline in popularity and interest in history is not going to increase, no matter how shrill and numerous  the complaints and regardless of how many high-toned articles and books are written affirming the value of understanding the past.  We live in the Internet+ Age  and the technology of this Age drives the thoughts, behaviors, interests, and priorities of the people experiencing the Internet and attendant hard-and software. (The determinate, causative, force of technology is always the case.)

Internet+ people–that is, the people experiencing Internet+ technology; specifically,  those who grew up with the Internet  (Millennials) and those who grew up with smartphones (iGen’ers)–live in the present.  As a result of the effects of Internet+ technology, they’re less aware of what has occurred, of the past or history (or what might happen, the future) than they are of the current situation.  They evince an essentially, as McLuhan put it, “total involvement in an . . . inclusive nowness.”  This technologically driven extensive involvement in, and awareness of, the present precludes preference for, or interest in, looking back–or forward.

About George Beam

I'm an educator and author. The perspectives that inform my interpretations of the topics of this blog are behaviorism and system analysis. Specific interests include American politics, socioeconomic issues, survey research, and effects of the Internet and attendant hard- and software. I'm Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Public Administration, Affiliated Faculty, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago.
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