Public display of disaffection

Macleans:

Last June, Kevin Newman delivered the commencement address at the University of Western Ontario. Reading from his iPad, the veteran TV news journalist extolled social media’s increasing role in shaping global events—and how it’s destined to make the graduating class “the most consequential generation in more than a century.”

Afterwards, the 52-year-old, who received an honorary doctorate at the ceremony, took his seat on the dais and began typing into his iPhone. Once, in the paleolithic pre-Facebook era, a guest of honour displaying such distracted behaviour would have summoned dismayed cocked eyebrows. But if the university’s robed dignitaries were offended, they showed no sign. Nor did the graduates facing the stage, many of whom were quietly typing away on mobile devices themselves.

Newman, CTV’s newly appointed “digital news evangelist,” says he sees the tableau as the way of the world: “That’s how I live my life now. I capture moments and experiences,” he told Maclean’s. His behaviour was “within the boundaries of etiquette in a social-media age,” he says, admitting that these rules are being established on the run, often by the user himself (Newman only posted photos to his Twitter feed from backstage, didn’t text during the formal part of the ceremony, and says he wasn’t “too showy” about it).

Read the whole story: Macleans

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