Edith Zimmerman claims in her article for the New York Times Magazine, “Dealing With Your Own Cultural Irrelevance (at Age 28),” that in her viewing of a YouTube video:
‘I saw something that made me feel old, isn’t that crazy?’ She adds, ‘Then again, the Internet is a new kind of barometer for keeping track of exactly how old you feel: how many things you don’t get, how many mini-Internet worlds you can’t find the door to…’
To which I answer … No. Because the Internet is about NOT having to think in terms of any one barometer. The viewing public on the Internet is more diverse, may I say even fractured, than six columns of print can contain …
There isn’t any monolithic “audience” in spite of what writers, and the media in general, would claim. Generalizations like Ms. Zimmerman’s give her something to write about; but it doesn’t make her statements any more true. There are 60-year-old Internet browsers who could care less about that You Tube video, and who don’t feel old for it (there may be other things that make that 60-year-old feel old).
The Internet is not a television channel. We don’t (yet) have to think in terms of 18-49 demographics. We don’t (yet) need to make ultimate statements about what’s cool, who’s watching, or what’s next. It’s free-form–for now.