Social Media, Now and Then
The majority of freshmen entering college this Fall were born in 1999.
In their world it was possible to:
- Have a Facebook friend by the age of 5
- Tweet at age 7 (One can only imagine the tweets that might have been sent by a seven-year-old Donald Trump.)
- Call a grandparent on an iPhone and tell them about reading a story on Kindle by age 8.
- Post an Instagram at age 11 and Snapchat at 13.
By their 9th birthday, society was actually discussing the demise of books and newspapers. Yet today, printed books seem to be doing well and people talk fondly about their smell, feel and look. At least for now, their future looks hopeful.
In a time of instant expression where images and graphics fly across phones, computers and televisions, is the appreciation for fine prints a lost art? Perhaps, we need to remind younger generations that printmaking foreshadowed today’s social media:
- Rembrandt was etching “selfies” in the 1600s.
- Lautrec was “posting” on the walls of Paris to promote entertainers in the 1800s.
- By the early 20th century, Posada and Mendez were issuing “tweets” as woodcuts protesting political conditions in Mexico.
So as Apple announces iPhone 8, those of us who love the artistry and skill of lithographs, etchings and engravings, woodcuts, etc., must communicate the joy of appreciating them to a new generation.