Historical Underdosing: To live in a period of time when nothing seems to happen. Major symptoms include addiction to newspapers, magazines, and TV news broadcasts.
Historical Overdosing: To live in a period of time when too much seems to happen. Major symptoms include addiction to newspapers, magazines, and TV news broadcasts.
London, 1998, p.9
In 2005 we might give a different list of media. We might even think that the somewhat paradoxical attitude Coupland observed has long since turned into something else: The information singularity.
It may have started with the first Irak war. Princess Diana's untimely death certainly was an information singularity. Next came 9/11. My idea of an information singularity is that the whole world is watching with bated breath. Broadcasters have reacted to this. Take the BBC World Service that changed from hourly to half-hourly news after 9/11. And only recently the world stared myopically at a little picture-in-picture inset of a little chimney in vatican city. Ersatz-history in the making...
These days the media seem to be almost dependent on information singularities. They generate sales at the newsstands, high viewer ratings, and lots of traffic on the internet and in the blogosphere. Is it dangerous? Should anything be done about it?
In terms of information technology the world Coupland described in 1991 is irrevocably gone. I find it all the more surprising that he observed an attitude towards information that was only fully enabled thanks to the internet.