"The result will be the Confetti Generation, for the current Autonomy Generation does not possess the cultural tools to absorb such an explosion of information and entertainment, such an implosion of speed and remoteness. Having been nurtured in an Autonomy Generation, the Confetti citizen consumer will be inundated by experience and ungrounded in any cultural dicipline for arriving at any reality but the self. We will witness an aggravated version of today when all ideas are equal, when all religions, life-styles, and perceptions are equally valid, equally different, and equally undifferentiated in every way until given value by the choice of a specific individual. This will be the Confetti Era, when all events, ideas, and values are the same size and weight -- just pale pink and green, punched-out, die-cut wafers without distinction. The new electronics will create the opportunity for eclecticism to run rampant, and opportunity for such increases in speed and satisfaction, information, entertainment, and transactions that one will be almost forced to select randomly and remotely based on personal, fickle taste. All the while, the sheer weight of data accelleration will create the impression of similarity and equality of value. Social character is produced from choices, and when ideas and experiences float down like cheap confetti, the Autonomy Generation will choose in the only way they know. By their choices, they will become the Confetti Generation."
--William Donnelly, The Confetti Generation - How the New Communications Technology is Fragmenting America
This was written in 1986, at a time when very little occurred digitally. He based this statement above from viewing the impact of newly-introduced PCs, the explosion of cable TV, on-demand viewing created by VCRs, and the future of Videodiscs (which foresaw what we call CDROMs and DVDs).
It may be better not to look at the internet as the cause of today's society, but as the result of what society began 20 years ago. There would have to be a predisposition in society, a need to fulfill something, in order for the internet to be accepted so widely.
["Autonomy Generation" also refers to the "Me Generation", which I equate with baby boomers & the classic 80s attitude.]