I recently sat in on a lecture in which an ABD in philosophy told the students that their generation was different than all others because of their intimacy with technology. They communicate in ways that are quantitatively and qualitatively different than the ways that previous generations communicated.
Superficially, this appears an obvious truth. But dig beneath the surface, and the veracity of the claim starts to dissolve. This generation is no different than any other. Communication, to the extent that any such thing is truly possible, has not changed since Broca’s area first appeared. What has changed is our repertory of communicative behaviors. The message is the same. The essence of the message has become diluted by the range and rapidity of its delivery, but it is one and the same message that has been sent countless times by countless souls across countless years: “I am here! I exist! And I need you in order for that fact to mean something.”