Welcome to Pop Culture 2.0. In the 2000s, Generation eXposure,
emerged from the marriage of new technology and the nation's
obsession with celebrity. Social media technology, such as MySpace,
YouTube, Facebook, and countless blogs, gave everyman a voice and a
public persona that they could share with friends across the street
or around the world. Suddenly, it was not enough to imitate Britney
Spears or Paris Hilton, technology gave everyone a platform to
launch their own 15 minutes of fame. The fixation on self and
celebrity acted as a diversion from more serious challenges the
nation faced, including President George W. Bush's War on Terror.
The wars overseas sharply divided the country, after a moment of
national unity after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, which took away
one of the world's most recognizable buildings. The era witnessed
interest rates dropping to historic lows, but later subprime became
one of the most searched terms on Google as the nation teetered on
recession. Big was in like never before and suddenly people
nationwide could buy or build their own McMansion-a slice of the
American dream. While supersized homes and fast food meals became
commonplace, the electronics and transportation advances proved
that good things came in increasingly smaller packages. Apple's
iPod reinvented how people interacted with music, hybrids changed
thoughts on fuel efficiency as a gallon of gas topped $3. Cell
phones usage ballooned in our always on society, while physically
shrinking to the size of a deck of cards. Yes, me-centric Pop
Culture 2.0, which the pundits predicted would some day arrive,
burst onto the scene and ultimately transformed the way we interact
with one another and the world around us.
Chapters inside the latest volume in the American Popular
Culture Through History series explore various aspects of popular
culture, including advertising, literature, leisure activities,
music visual arts, and travel. Supplemental resources include a
timeline of important events, cost comparisons, and an extensive
bibliography for further reading.
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