Wendy Grossman has an interesting net.wars column up, Car talk, in which she expands on a CNBC suggestion that the Internet displaces the car:
… today's young people find their independence differently: through their cell phones and the Internet. … As children, many baby boomers shared bedrooms with siblings. Use of the family phone was often restricted. The home was most emphatically not a place where a young adult could expect any privacy.
Today, kids go out less, first because their parents worry about their safety, later because their friends and social lives are on tap from the individual bedrooms they now tend to have. And even if they have to share the family computer and use it in a well-trafficked location, they can carve themselves out a private space inside their phones, by text if not by voice.
That rings true: I had put down our eldest's seeming lack of enthusiasm for getting a driving license to his taste for being chauffeured — beats walking to the parking spot. But maybe it's the times and the PC in his room.