I like this idea about the differences between the generations and their relationship with privacy, design and technology…
Generation X and the Baby-boomers (basically the over 30’s) see privacy in a different way to the under 30’s (Generation Y, ‘millenials’ or other such nonsense!)
The life of the younger generation almost depends on being seen, tracked and just generally noticed online… and they couldn’t care less if they are being used as ‘product‘ for the real customers (ie. the advertisers) of Google, Yahoo and Facebook etc.
The older generations, while still very much embracing all kinds of web and social gubbins, still have an inbuilt fear of giving away too much information just to be ‘advertised at‘ (very probably justifiably). Ironically, the older generation is also the one that the advertisers really want a piece of – but the blighters are playing hard to get!
Another great divide is surely how peopleappreciate tech products. The over 30’s are more likely to like the design, support and thorough understandingly of the ‘human element’ found in Apple products, while the under 30’s (or ‘young’ at heart!) can be sold any old sh!t if they think it will be ‘free-ish’ or ‘faster’ or ‘open’ or other such meaningless hyperbole.
All this goes a long way to explain Google’s general dis-interest in doing many things ‘elegantly’ (in a design sense) …at least at first. It’s the ‘advertiser-customers’ who they really need to please at first, and the ‘product-users’ only becomes more important if they are not selling as well as they should!
It will be interesting to see in the coming years if getting older and wiser makes the young pups more likely to think about privacy and humanist design… or are they stuck forever in this ‘shouty’ devil-may-care fling with Google’s servers?