Millennials are the Borg of consumption

  • Article by: BONNIE USAN FLOOD
  • Updated: August 17, 2013 - 5:51 PM

It’s the hive mind, eternally tapped in and responding to the data stream.

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aarghmebuckoAug. 17, 13 9:30 PM

Great article! It prompted me to read up a bit on McLuhan's work. Wow. And I thought Isaac Asimov was ahead of his time. Bet they were friends. However, the fundamental concept of the "Borg" is working towards the common goal, while the article is about using the commons for individual gain. Humans progress much more slowly than the technology.

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jarlmnAug. 17, 1310:01 PM

The author cynically extols companies to try "hijacking it and shaping its course." Yeah, right. Good luck with that. This particular buncha Borgs is way too savvy for that and will highly resent any efforts at manipulation. "Hijacking" will largely fail ... for the very reasons the author outlined as she described the phenomenon. The reason this stuff works is that the users *themselves* create and control the flow of information. They will jealously guard their authenticity and their freedom from commercial intrusion.

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pumiceAug. 17, 1310:01 PM

I agree, aarghmebucko, there's a huge difference between working for a common good and "hive mind"/"mechanically mind-linked predator species".

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pitythefoolsAug. 18, 1312:55 PM

jarlmn: "Hijacking" will largely fail."

Not according to the Social Media gurus. PR firms employee legions of social media experts who carry out campaigns. "Mommy bloggers" can be paid hundreds of thousands a year with product recommendations if they have enough followers. Right here on the Strib a cadre of paid posters pushed for the Vikings Stadium. Now that the deal is done, none of them ever post anymore, their usernames go unused. Look at the ads on this site. Ads related to things you posted on facebook or items you looked at on ebay. You are well known and commercial influence is everywhere on the internet without you even knowing it.

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rlwr51Aug. 18, 13 2:53 PM

What is lost in all of this is individuality. Individuals are losing consideration in this one thought world. I feel sorry for someone who cannot pick out a shirt without consulting the world.

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murphym1Aug. 18, 13 7:16 PM

Hmmm! shopping by committee, I guess I'm lucky to have had boys. Let's hope Millennials will unplug, read a book and go outside just for the sake of the experience not to tweet about it.

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tituspulloAug. 18, 13 8:25 PM

jarlmnAug. 17, 1310:01 PM The author cynically extols companies to try "hijacking it and shaping its course." Yeah, right. Good luck with that. This particular buncha Borgs is way too savvy for that and will highly resent any efforts at manipulation. "Hijacking" will largely fail ... for the very reasons the author outlined as she described the phenomenon. The reason this stuff works is that the users *themselves* create and control the flow of information. They will jealously guard their authenticity and their freedom from commercial intrusion.___________What authenticity? Millennials have already embraced commercialism in a major way.

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murphymaniaAug. 19, 1310:15 AM

Great article. The Borg provide a good analogy for today's youth; always connected, always sharing. I agree that aarghmebucko that - for the most part - millennials utilize their networks for personal gain, but there are some examples of people grouping together for a common goal. The Red Cross has done a good job utilizing digital communication to help increase its fundraising efforts. This and other similar digital events at least provide a glimmer of hope that maybe this hive can eventually collaborate to accomplish some good.

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majorjonesAug. 19, 1310:30 AM

My concerns regarding all those always plugged in, millennials or not, is the lack of mindfulness, lack of awareness of the natural world, and lack of situational awareness regarding what is happening before them right now. Also major props for McLunan references. Check out his Gutenberg Galaxy for more along these lines. His musings on media and consciousness foretold our electronic, connected society and provide insight into the workings of media, mind, and culture,

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davehougAug. 20, 13 9:50 AM

The old adage for retailers is; a poor experience gets passed on to MANY more friends than a good experince is more true now. Reputations spread even faster than "word of mouth" :)

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