I was wrestling with insomnia last night, so I decided to read "The New York Times" until I felt tired enough to sleep. I happened upon an article on sports nicknames and I bumped into an interesting statistic that made me think.
"According to the Social Security Administration, the 10 most popular baby names for boys in 1956 represented 31.1 percent of the total born. In 1986, around the time many of today’s athletes were born, the top 10 represented only 21.3 percent of the total. In 2010, the number dropped to 8.4 percent."
In other words, people are being more creative, more themselves, more individualistic at least according to this one measure.
I'm sure new media mavens will suggest that this non-conformist phenomenon illustrates consumer control and the decline of authority. They're probably right. People want things their way--mass customization as opposed to mass production.
There may be other conclusions that can be drawn from this data but so far, that's all I can think of.